Byte Sep 1988

restored-ocr-bookmarks by Steve

restored-ocr-bookmarks, by, Steve

Byte Sep 1988 - Vintage Apple

D AutoCAD~ .DXF file output. D Completely updated manual. D 800 number for free technical assistance. 2" by4" section ofa 10" by 16" double.

PDF 198809 Byte Magazine Vol 13-09 Display Technology - Postscript Printers


New Top-of-the-Line
Micro Channel Systems
First Impressions of IBM Model 70
and Tandy 5000 MC

Display Technology
CRT, Gas-Plasma, LCD, EL, and Tl's New 34020 Chip

, I~ ~ 09
0 440235 0

The Critics Agree: Borland:

"Turbo C ... will stun you with in-RAM 
 compilations that operate at warp speed." 

Turbo C's· sleek
compiler is so fast and powerfu l. we used it LO write our equation olver.
Eureka.· Even better.
all thal muse! is wrapped in a smooth. integrated en vironment with every thing you need LO make writing. editing and compiling your programs
a snap:
· Compiles 10.000 lines per minut.e· · Online. co nt.ex~-sensitive help · A SI compatible · Six memory models-liny to huge · 450 library runctions · LililiLies: Librarian. Make. GREP
· Source cod' ror MicroGalc 

 · Command-li ne version of Lhe compil er · lnline assembly Lhal leLS you mix 

Cand assembler 

'°"'-!Jlt!I ,_,.,i.n °' !.)' ttm Kequlrtm~nu 1·..-"" 10.M ~n~ ""'""' 1RM· r- 11o1


IOd 111


''""JM M

- Richnrd Hale Shnw, PC Magazine

· Professional--quamy gra ~lhics l ibrary
supporting VGA. CGA. E:GA. Hercul s.
and IBM 8514 · Interfaces with Turbo PMCal 4.0 

and Turbo Prolog 

Just $99.95

" A lightning fast. fully featured C compiler su itable for almost every thing .. . Borland's Turbo Ccompiler is nexible. FasL and friend ly.
- Peter Feldman, PC Week "

Heap Sort

T c TIUOO I ~Mla'tlSOll ~ 5_0

::::: l ~~~t I 4: sec

1s_3 ijl!C.

I I tlme ~cctJIC Ume

7., sec. 10.5 :ice.

19.5 iiOC. 15.5 :ICC.

Oblca code size



&.'cctJIJon size



Son ~ndllllll'l nin on an lfi MH1 IBMAT Llllrtel\ir'DOC 't'll'lfon I 5 1nd lll<hf U ,,,_ I l . M""'*"IC...- SO ondll>c"5"'""'r
I""" ........ J 61

"Turbo Pascal 4.0 flies 4.0 is ballistic! "-Tom Swan

Almosl from its introd uction . Turbo Pas al" has b en the world wide Pascal stan dard . I 's fast. It's rtexibl . It's affor dable. And it gives you full ontroL Com pile more than 27.000 line of code per minute* . And work in a complete. integrated programming environment with pu ll-down menus and a full -fea tur'ed ed itor. You don't have to swap code in and oul to beal th e 64 K; il's designed for large programs. Break your cod into conv ni 'Ill modules and work with them swiftly and separately. If ther ·s an error in one. you can see iL and nx it.

S)'!llem Requl~mento f'or 11>< 111W l'Sl'l- ... "" 1~w· '-'')" ~-ondoll 1 _,, PC- llOSI WS-llOS~lOor

t ·uia ~ ~

&lllftomrttfl . ti · -0111160&)'Jol ~

Uldflf(ldYBdco MC pMiw'WI ~n ~

oui dtii.111.t.. Oillwt

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All-.- .. - f t - _ _ln: 00... lnll-...."".""-"""""'~tm"r ..-....-.....

h'Jlm (4'llWI · tllll8 - - -..... .

Ill JU),!,

;Turbo Languages are Super! 

like a rocket ...
1987 Programmer's Journal
PowerfuI fcatures incl udc:
· Producing EXE files · Separate compi lation
· Bu ill-in project management · Graph unit includi ng suprX>rt
for IBM CGA. EGA. VGA. and 3270. Her ules and ATf 6300 · Onl ine. context-sensitive tlelp
· Ru 11 011 an 8 Hlz IBM PC AT.
Add expertise:
The Turbo Pascal
Start with Turl:>o Pascal Tutor for jusL $69.95 and add the others as your interests and experti e grow:
· Database Too lbox · Edi tor Tool box · Graphix Toolbox · J urnerical Methods Too lbox · Garn Works
Toolboxes req uire Turbo Pascal 4.0
Just $99.95 each
" Each new Turbo Pascal 4.0 Tool box is a virtual treasure of program mi ng methods and tips.
- Giovanni Perrone, PC Week "
Circle 30 on Readu S<!rvict Card (DEALERS: 31)

"Turbo Basic compiles faster than anything I have seen." -Ethan Winer. PC Magazine

Turbo Basic· is Lile lightning-fast Basi c compiler
with a tota l devel
opment nviron ment that puts you in Full control. Even novices can
' rit.e professional programs with Turbo Basie's rull -screen windowed editor. pull-down m nus. and Lrac' deb ugging sysLem. You al ·o g La long list of inno ative Borland featu res like binary disk fil es. true recu rsion.
and increas ' d compilation control. Plus the ability LO create programs as
larg as your system 's memory can
hold-not just a cra mped 64K. The choice is basic: Tu rbo Basic~

Just $99.95!

" Turbo Basic. simply put. is an incredibly good product... ot only is this the most advanced BASIC ever. but Borland has lived up to its Turbo tradition .
- William Zachmann. Computuworld ' '

Add another Basic advantage: The Turbo Basic Toolboxes

· The Database Toolbox · ihe &litor Toolbox

Toolboxes req uire Turbo Basic I. l

Just $99.95 each.

f'Sli-· S . c m Requtn=menLs t'w ~ IUM

UWJ 1s1.&· t111i1tyd

~"""_...""'ol.11000..anpotl- Po:-ll001WS.IU>J l00<

~ llMK~M f,.&DKk>~ lor"JIJI o

Compare the BASIC differences

Compi le & Lo sta nd-alonc 1-:XE
S11.e or .t:.u:
t:xecution lime
w/ 80287

Turbo ll.1slr I I 3s 28387
0. /6 Sf:C.

QulclcBASIC4.0 Compiler ~BASJ~~ ln~rprmr ~
7 ooc.



16.5 sec.

21 .5 sec.

Exccu tlon lime w/o R0287

0. 16 SC



°' Th· fJ ns Opum· 11on Bendlmru'l proenim lrom Matdl 1008 ISS\lc Com11<1w Lilrieua&e ""'°· The f'roeram Nn on Ml IBM
PS/2 Mood 00 ~·Ith 80lll7 The Wldl~ ~ Cl'lm!NW"s ~l)ll!ly 10 Qllllmlz;: loop-l~l rooe. unllll(Jd c:oOe. ~on en<! QOCl<ll· ~onol t \'&l·Jlllon

version of Basic ever"
And able to
onto "new ground· price/performanc
-John H. Mayer. Compllltr on Tllfbo C

See tile technological excellence of Turbo C, .Turbo Pascal and Turbo Basic!
Meet Turbo Prolog 2.0: ificial e igence like e never seen it.

Turbo Prolog 2.0: Powerful Artificial Intelligence for your real-world applications! 

ew Turbo Prolog· 2.0 lets you harness powerful AI techniques.
And you don't have to be an expert
programmer or artiricial intelli gence genius!
You get an all-new Prolog compiler that's been optimized to produce smaller and more efficient programs than ever before. An improved full-screen. completely customizable ed it.or with easy pull down menus. All-new documenta tion. including a tutoria l rich with examples and instructions to take you all the way from basic program ming to advanced techniques. Even
online help!
w S}~m Re~ulnlnlimlS 1·., Ille HIMf'Sn · 111e lllM· llmOY o1
pmoo>I Olllpu""..., Ill I mmp>IJM& l'C DOS [MS-OOSJ 2 0"
Iller. ~ · ""-~

More new features!
· An external dat.abase system For developi ng large databases. Supports B+ trees and EMS
· Source code for a fu lly-featured Prolog interpreter written enti rely in Turbo Prolog. Plus step-by-step instructions to adapt it or include it as is in your own applications!
· Support for the Borlaad Graphics l aterface, the same professional-quality graphics in Turbo Pascal. Turbo C. and Quattro
· Improved windowi ng · Powerful exception hand ling
and error trapping feature · Full compatibility with Turbo C
o the Lwo languages can ca ll each other freely · Supports mu ltiple iaternal database · High-resolution video support
Just $149.95! 

60-Day Money-back Guarantee t 

For the dealer nearesl you
Call (800) 543-7543

Circle 32 on & oder Sfrvict Canl (DEALERS: 33)

Turbo Prolog Toolbox i 6 toolboxes in one!
More than 80 tools and 8,000 lines of ource code help you build your own Turbo Prolog application . Includes toolboxes for menus. screen and report layouts. busi ness graphics. com mu nications. flle transfer capabilities. parser generators. and more! Toolbox requ ires Turbo Prolog 2.0 J ust $99.95
' ' If I had to pick one single
recommendation for people who want to try to keep up with the computer revolution. I'd say, 'Get and learn Turbo Prolog.·
- Jerry Poumelle, Byte 1188
An affordable. fast. and easy-to-use language.
- Dany/ Rubin. Al Expert "



VOL. 13/NO . 9

67 What's ew
89 Short Takes 
 TSI-020MX and Radius Accelerator 25 , two 25-MHz Mac SE acceleraror boards T urbo Prolog 2.0, adding a number offeatures SOTA MotherCard 5 .0 and Microsoft Mach 20, running 
 OS/2 on an IBM PC 
 Choice Words , Webster 's dictionary on a hard disk drive Tentime, Konan 's new hard disk drive controller
Cover Story: 154 IBM and Tandy-
Same Channel, Same Plan for Growth by Rich Malloy and Tom Tlwmpson IBM' s PS/2 Model 70-A21 and Tandy's 5000 MC provide extra computing power in an open design.
164 Product Focus:
PostScrlpt Prjnters 
 Come of Age 
 by Steve Apiki and Stan Diehl New printers that are tops 
 in quality and versatility. 

183 Two for the Road
by Mark L. Van Name The Toshiba T5100 and GRiDCase 1530 prove that portable computers have come a long way. 

195 Ao 80386 with a Twist by JeffHoltzman The AST Premium1386 
 approaches the Compaq 
 386/20 in power-
 but not in price. 


203 Fax Board Faire by Brock N. Meeks A look at the strengths 

and weaknesses of I0 
 microcomputer fax cards.

213 Ada Comes to the Mac by Namir Clerrumt Shammas Does the Mac make a reasonable development system? 

Cover Story/154

219 Software for Hardware-Style Debugging by Namir Clement Shammas Soft-ICE extends breakpoint capabilities and protects against reentrancy.

225 Total Word by lamonr Wood Does it offer the total solution for word processing and desktop publishing?

231 Data Entry Goes HJgh-Tecb by LAlnonr Wood DataPlex provides data conversion and a "universal front end" for data entry.

237 Review Update

Face to Face/243


240 Introduction: Display Technology 

243 Face to Face by Gene Smarte and Nicholas M. Baran
A look at the four major display technologies-where they are now and where
they're going. 

Between Man and i\.:.tchine/288


2S7 Taking the Wraps off lbe 34020 by Ron Peterson, Carrel R. Killebrew Jr. , Tom Albers, and Karl Guitag A new 32-bit graphics microprocessor from Te.xas InstTuments lets you build a powerfuJ workstation on a smaII board.
27S Lighting the Way by Rolland Von Stroh and Brian Dolinar Electrolum.ioescence is becoming
a heavyweight contender among
display technologies.
282 Monitor Makers A guide to manufacturers
288 Betw-een Man and Machine by Ernest R. Tello ew advances in user-interface technology could change the way we interact with our computers.
295 T he BASIC Revival by Namir Clement Shammas The "beginner's" language has significant new features and a structured approach.
303 Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar: Why Microcontrollers?, Part 2 by Steve Ciarcia The DDT-51 isa low-cost soft ware development system with many features of more expen ive ystems .
313 Some Assembly Required:
Floating-Point without
a Coprocessor by Rick Grehan High-precision floating-point
emulation for your personal computer .


Fax Board Faire/203 EXPERT ADVICE

6 Editorial : Mac Clones and OS/2 Trends
11 Microbytes 24 Letters 33 Chaos Manor Mail 38 Ask BYTE 51 Book Reviews 3S9 Comi ng Up in BYTE

100 Computing at Chaos Manor: Tbe Edge of the Envelope by Jerry PourneUe Jerry combines bis right stuff with the right hardware and the right software.
123 Applications Pim: A Wolf and a Killer Shark by Eua Shapiro The wolf is Wold 3.01; the killer shark is FuUWrite Professional.
129 Down to Bmlne~: Is More Always Better? by Wayne Rash Jr. Too often, companies make installations on the basis of comfort rather than functionality.
135 MaclnatJons: Comebacks, Backups,
and Updates by Don Crabb Some Mac software is born
great, some is made great, and some is merely updated .
143 OS/2 Notebook: All Together Now by Marie Minasi Under OS/2, your programs don't step all over each other.
147 COMl: Computer Conferencing
Bomecomlng by Brock N. Muk.s Although computer conferencing is still in its infancy , it's locked into a niche market.

358 Editorial Index by Company 360 Alphabetica l Index to Advertisers 362 Index to Advertisers by Product
Inqui ry Reply Cards : after 364

From BfX : see 286
From BYTEnet: call (617) 861-9764 On disk or in print: see card after 320

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Fl'tdel'le S. l.ang4

OHRATIOHS Glenn Hanwlg Assodate ~Ed/or
REVIEWSnw.t-n.~ . --)
Cel~ryn Buldn Assccia/6 Managii1Q Edilor, O.nnls Allen Seriof TIK:Mical E<ilcr. Soo'IMf8, Curtis Franklin Jr. S6niof Tesl/na Ecflor. BYTE lab, Stephen Aplld Tesling Editor. 8YrE Lllb. StanlOIC Olelll T9S1ino EO!ot. 8YTE I.ab
RHEkW:llIMANalDloTyEACsHsHooO'lB.OreQY~ ~Eat- rx, · o . S- art<. lellr>o$<et 1 ria- ) Eclitor. N6ws and T6ch/IO/ogy , Anne Flsciw Lenl S6rWoi' t!rklor. to'- Produas ~Roger AO&ITIS Asscoa/6 Ntlo+$ Ecjfor, Oavld Andrewo Associate Ne""1 Edlor. Martha Hicks Associate NttwsE6/or
-eo..t: Gene Srnarte &reau C!Wel. Costa Mesa.
NICl\olu Baran T9CIY'liClll Edilor, Sen Franelsco, Frank H..,.,., AssodBJs Nm.$ EfJIJx. Jeffrey Barloluccl E6/0lllll A$Slstanr, Sen Francisco
IElllOR TECHNICAi. ElllTOll8 Kan Sheld<ln F$1>1UlfJI$, Jane MorfiD TllHlur In Depth, RIChard Greh&ll Al tilrge, Tom Thompeon A1 Large
Ja.netJ. Barron, J1L1Mtt Flderlo, Jon Uden, Stanley Wszola
FlobM Ml1chell
COHSIA.T..a wrTOll5 

Slaw Clan:la, Jerry Poomelle, Ezra Shapiro, Don Crabb, 
 ~ N. Mffkl. Merk Mlnul. Wayne AWi Jr. 

llAllKETIHG COMMUHICATION9 Horace T. Howland Oitsaor, ?ame~ Pelr&J!o&.Wtlson Promo6on 1.1Nl8g8f, Wiibur S . Watson Mal~ Ser""'8s
Ms"8'1"". D...,, Uelthews l.larkeiing E"""1S Cootdinator. l.la6 Jo SM111« M4fl<tll/na ~. S1ept\anle warnee.k°)' Msrl<.sting Art Dil9d0f, Shamn Price Assodale Arr DifflClOf, Julie Petron MmkBt Rooeardl An8l}'SI
PUHll..a AllD lll!Sl!AllCH Michtl9~DI~
Fallh Kluntz CcfTtriQhts Coorcilwor, Cyntllla OOJTWQ
Sand8 RaeOat S'1fvict1 Coord'nBtor
Philip L Penny Di'reaor ol F1nm>oo and Sarvicas, Kenneth A . King &Ain8ss Mar!ag8t, Christine Monklon ~. Marilyn HalQll. Diane Henry, JoAnn ~. Jal..,. Huber
Dan Mcl.augh n O 'tlJClOI
Jamea Bingham l'lewS5Jand Sales MantJuer, Viekl Weston
Assistarw "'8nagsf, Katen Desroches astribUion
-Coordnalor, Donna Healy, Dirac: Accounts Cootrlnalor,
lout.Ml MenagUS B8CJ< lss.-
Palricla Bu.rka ~ Coordnal.0<, ee--ty Goa F/eoepliorisl
BUILDIHO AJMCU Tony Bennelt 1.1Nl8g8t. Cllll Monkton, Mark Monklon, Ag!lMPerry

 Lauren StlCldar Chief. Susan Colwail, Judy Connoro. 
 Tenney, Jell Edll'IOl>da. Nancy~. Cettry K1'91fY. 
 Metgatal A. Rlcliatd, Warren Wiii amson 

Peggy Dunham Ollic9 "'8nagsr, Unda C. Ryan, June N. Shek!On. Lynn Su:sen valley
AlfT Nancy Rl()8 Director, JoMph A. Gall891'Br Assistanf Oirvctor, Jen Mulklr ~. Alen ENlOn ToctirVcai A!fi5I
OIMd R. Anc1enon OfflCor, Vlrglr>la Re.rdOtl S8nior Ed!Orial PIOdx:liort Coottlnalor, DenlM Ctwlt*nd EOtctial Prodvalon Coor<lnslor, Mlcliael J. Lonsky Ei:ftOOal Produalon Coordinator

0. Barker Ccorclnalor. Peterborovf/h. Rich Malkrf ,._
York, Gena Smarte Cil«ts M9s8, Nichola Satan San F~. Rlclc Cook Pho<lrJx. Frank H..,w San Ff9/IO$co. Juon l.8'11t1 Austin, TX, Wry Loe1> ~. CT. Brock
oc. N. Meeks LBMsss. DI. Stan Mlullww9ld Pa9fborooah.
W3ylle AeshJt.. Bue RolenberV ~. Oev1d
AH<l ~.KY

u... ArNEl'T1lllNQ/P ( - ) 9 2 
Wozmak ();rector, lW· Clark Saric< Account Cocxrkta!or, l<Mln CU!ey, Unda Fluhr, Jeanne Ga1e0mbe. Brian Hlgglns, Rod Holden, Wei Chiu LI OulJ/ity Ccntrol
MsllllQlll, Julle '-llrphrae Advtltflslr,g/PtodUctiotl Coooinaror

1M.111NEM AHO MAllKETIHO Doug W9t>ater Direc«x (603) 924-9027. Pl.lrk;la Sawu m Secnwaty, Denise A. GIMllG Custor'IW 5Nvic6, 8tlan Warnock Customer Se<vial, Tammy Burge.a ~ Credr lllldMflf/
Clayton Usie Di1ea0f. Busi!leSS S)'st6m$ T~. MHIS. Bil Garrtson S&rlci Bu!iMss Systwns Anal}'SI. Jacl<
Reilly SllriOf Business S}'Sl&71S Arlllt)osl. Bob Dornl:Jla
Business S;stems AreiySI, Fred Strauss Serior Businoss
S;stllrllS An8l}'SI

J. Bur1 Totaro
D- ennla- J . Rile~ y Director, CIOSI t2'"'2t 1
SAJ'ldra Footer Al!rrSl"li<tmtiw ~
 John C . Moon 1'17) 292·1 Ito 

Leell G. Rabl,_.iaa 12151z.:zote
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'lllCllW'e:ST IL., MO, KS, IA, NO. SD. MN. Wl, E. IN, Ml, MS. OH Sob Danmead p121111.s740
CO, WY, OK, TX, AA, L.A Kat1 Heinrich (1 1·) ..,_.,,.7
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THE llUYEA"S MART 11 >QI Marl< S iona (OO>) ......1..

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COllPllTINQ ENGINEEA8 DECK Mary Ann Goulding 1'°31 n.w:i11
See lletlng on pege 381 .


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smARTOORKeKee__ _ _ , Getting Smarter 

Smarter Artwork
Three years ago, Wintek engi  neers created smARTWORK to reduce !he time and tedium of
toying out their own printed-circuit
boards. Thou sands of engineers have since discovered the ease of use and sophistication that makes smARTWORK the most popular PCB CAD software available. And thanks to them, smARTWORK keeps getting better.

New smARTWORK Features
D Silkscreen toyer for component placement and identification
D Text capabilities for all three layers
D Selectable trace widths and
pad shapes and sizes
D User-definable library
D Ground p lanes creaied with a
single command D Solder-mask and podmaster
p lots generated automatically D Quick printer 2X checkplots D Additional drivers for printers
and p lotters 0 Optional drill-tape and
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Circle 292 on RUlder Service Card



Fred Langa


The "Happy Joiner" Mac is up and running; and some early OS/2 users voice surprising opinions
A t this year's Hannover Faire in Europe (the world's larg est computer show), we got a sneak peek at a Taiwanese Macintosh clone. This sum.mer, at Tai wan's Computex show, the clone was openly displayed, and it attracted crowds.
The clone is not for sale-yet. ln fact, the prototype Mac knockoff was built
primarily as a demonstration device for
Mac-compatible gate-array chip sets chips built in the U.S. by an unnamed manufacturer.
The story gets murky here. According to the generally reliable AsiaTrends newsletter, the company displaying the clone-its name translates as Happy Joiner Co., Ltd.-did as its name implies by acting as an intermediary between an offshore chip-design house and the U.S. manufacturer.
"Our gate array doesn't violate any existing copyrights, " said a company spokesperson. "In fact, there is no copy right on gate arrays."
By themselves, the chip are at most ooly the foundation of a complete Mac clone; for example, you'd still need a legal ROM (a major stumbling block, considering Apple's recent litigious ness) . AsiaTrends quotes the spokesper
son as saying, "We met many people at
the show who were very interested, in cluding major Australian and Taiwanese software houses. The people we talked to

said they were very interested in writing The survey culled out software devel

a functionally compatible legal [ROM] opers and hardware companies in order

BIOS . "

to ta.rget the heavy-hitting end users

Although the gate arrays are made in nondevelopers who were interested

the U.S . , Happy Joiner has no plans to enough in OS/2 to shell out the $3000 for

sell them here. Instead, it plans to work the SDK.

with clone makers in Hong Kong, South One surprise was the glacial pace

Korea, and Singapore to produce fin these earliest adopters predicted OS/2

ished machines that would be sold in would take in becoming the operating

North America and elsewhere.

system of choice for Intel-based ma

While I am sympathetic to Apple's de chines. Many believe it will be well into

sire to maintain control of its market, I'd 1989 or even l 990 before significant

also welcome a legitimate, inexpensive OS/2 applications are available: Unlike

Macintosh-one that would do for the some industry gurus, these end users

Apple side of the market what the low don't believe there will be an end-of-the

cost IBM PC clones did for Intel-family year bHtz ofOS/2 software this year.

machines: expand the user base, and A full third of the respondents see

spur vigorous growth in third-party Unix as a serious aJternative to OS/2. But

hardware and software development.

Unix bas its own perception problems.

Tbe best kind of low-cost Mac would One participant said, "If Unix gets onto a

be one with an authentic Apple logo on it. commodity hardware platform o the end

Apple surely could produce such a ma user can go down to the corner store or

chi oe: I've seen estimates that place mail-order hou e and get [Unix] soft

Apple's manufacturing costs for a bard ware, then Unix may make it in the end

disk drive-equipped Mac SE as low as user environment. .. .But if that doesn ' t

about $500. (The list price for such a ma happen,., then OS/2 is going to wipe it

chine is about $3600.) Yes, Apple bas a out. ...

healthy R&D budget, and both Apple and OS/2's major strengths were seen to be

its dealers deserve fair profits, but surely its screen-handling ability (assum ing

these prices could come down some.

Presentation Manager lives up to its

If it chose to, Apple could employ the claims) and-strangely-its DOS com

strategy once used successfully by Gen patibility. Vaunted features like Dy

eral Motors in offering a family of prod· namic Data Exchange and the LAN

ucts ranging from Chevys to Cadillacs Manager were cited far less frequently.

from some kind of a true entry-level, The respondents saw OS/ 2's major

lowball Mac up to Mac Us, and beyond. weaknesses as stemmillg not so much

If Mac prices stay high, we may see a from OS/2 itself, but from its timing:

strange new kind of machine: a Mac-like Lack of applications and delays in release

box with American chips, an Australian were the two most-cited negatives.

ROM, a Hong Kong motherboard, and a All in all, the report is an eye-opening

brand name that's something like Happy glimpse into the real world of OS/2


users. (Individual copies of "An Inside

View of OS/2 " at $695 can be ordered

OS/2 Trends 

through Datapro, 1805 Underwood one of BYTE's computer-ori
 Blvd. , Delran, NJ 08075 .)

ented siblings within McGraw-Hill, 


recently completed a survey of early pur

EdiJor in Chief

chasers of the OS/2 Software Develop

(BIX name ''flanga ")

er's Kit (SDK). The survey results make 

for fascinating reading. 


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8 B Y T E · SEPTEMBBR 1988

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excerpts from Editors Choice
Wlil:ilil.w-':11 fune 28, 1988

The ALR FlexCach 20386 Model

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~ ~~·


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Staff-written highlights ofdevelopments in technology and the microcomputer industry

Study of Coordination Leads to New Groupware


C oordination is one of those things that you don 't notice until it's not there. But Anatol Holt has noticed it; in fact, he's de veloped a new technology around it. Holt, who has worked at places such as Remington Rand and Bos ton University, developed a science called coordination mecha.nics. And next year, Holt 's company , Coordina tion Technology , Inc. (Trumbull , CT) , will re lease a computer implemen tation of coordination me chanics. The company claims that the new product will help groups of people on networked personal com puters work together more effectively. And many rou ti ne task s that have steadfast ly resisted being computer ized will soon be more
efficiently done on a PC ,
CTI officials say. The CTI product works

by assigning each person to a number of groups. Each person then interacts with the other people in the group according to pairs of coordi nation patterns. For exam ple, one person might be a re queste.r, the other a
responder. Other possible pairs are submitter/ approver and provider/ consumer. Any personal re lationship can be represented by combining coordination pattern pairs.
Once the relationships have been established, the program can guide and monitor the electronic mail communication between the members of the group. If you request a piece of informa tion from someone else, the product will continue to re mind that person to provide
the information and will re
mind you that it has not been provided . Or if you submit an E-mail proposal to your

boss, and your boss in tum submits it to his or her boss, the CTI product will keep you up to date on the status of the proposal.
The product, which does not yet have a name or a price, will not be available until August of next year, a CTI spokesperson said. It will run under IBM's OS/2 Extended Edltion or Micro soft's OS/2 and LAN Man ager. According to CTI , the product will function as an environment and will be compatible with application software such as Lotus 1-2-3 . A prototype version ofCTI's program currently
runs under DOS, but the
company says it wants to wait untiJ OS/2's Presentation Manager is available. CTI also says that OS/2's mem
ory management techniques will considerably speed up the product, which currently is omewhat low.

Ansa Develops Cooperative Processing Model with Paradox

0 ne of the promising features of local-area networks (LANs) is the possibility of cooperative processing, with CPUs on the network sharing the pro cessing tasks and "balanc ing the load" on the system. This is particularly useful in networked database appli cations that require com pute-intensive tasks such as sorts, queries, and prepara tion of reports . Ideally , ifa single workstation on the network i overloaded with
tasks , it should be able to
send some of its task s to nodes that are less utilized.
Borland's Ansa Software division (Belmont, CA) has written an appl ic.ation in the

Paradox PAL programming language, running under OS/2, that allows cooperative processing in Paradox. In a demonstration for BYTE, Paradox OS/2 was running on a beta version of3Com's
3+ network. Tbe PAL ap
plication controlling the co operative processing uses a standard Paradox table that tracks the sessions running on each workstation of the network. As more sessions are activated (another report or sort operation , for exam ple), the PAL application uses an algorithm to decide which workstation should ex ecute the session, depend ing on current workJoads. The PAL application is

made possible by the new SESS IO N c o m m a n d i n t h e OS/2 version of Paradox, which performs the func tion of the OS/2 ta k selector in PAL scripts.
The cooperative process ing application represents an " architectural concept" that software developers can u e in their Paradox appli cations, said Borland's Rich ard Schwartz. Borland will make the application avail  able to Paradox developers, he said . The application is a good example of the poten tial of multitasking capabili ties combined with LANs for increasing the efficiency of CPUs on the system.

· We'd like to see more of this modesty in our in dustry. At a Sooy Mi crosystems (Palo Alto, CA) press conference
announcing a twin-68030
Unix-running worksta
tion, company president Mas Morimoto said it would be inappropriate for
Sony to take sides in the current AT&T/Open Soft ware Foundation fight over control of Unix stan dan:lizatkm. "In this market, Sony cannot
create a standard- we
follow the standard. Sony is not that big an influ ence, " he said. · At the same press con
fere.nce, Murray Goldman of Motorola confirmed that Motorola will be pro ducing a 68040 proces
sor, but be refused to
comment on a time fram.e or specific features
ofthecbip . · Matsushita (Secau.cus,
NJ) says it has developed a digjtal optical disk re
cording system that can put 2.6 gigabytes ofin formation on each side of
a 12-inch write-once op
tical platter. The system has a read and write speed of 18 megabits per second, a spokesperson
said. In an audiovisual ap plication, for example,
all that storage space
could hold 500 still pic tures and an hour of
stereo sound, according to Matsushita pees. · MicroPro Interna tional (San. Rafael , CA)
plan.s to ship its Word Star for the Macintosh
this month. The $495
Mac WordStar is a com
pletely new product cominued

- Circle 105 on Realkr Service Card

SEPTE.MBER 19S8 · B Y T E 11


rather than a port from
the MS-DOS version. President Leon Williams said the program will provide virtually every feature of WordStar Pro fessional, WordStar 2000, and Microsoft Word, and much of what's in AJdus's PageMaker. Among the advanced fea· tures are ability to wrap text around graphics, text rotation, text routing, and grammar-checking. AU the new WordStars are pushing hard into the low end of the desktop publishing market and will help push high-end desktop publishing "back into the art depart ment, " said product man ager Dave Cannon. Ver sions for Unix and OS/2 are in the works, he said. · Toshiba (Irvine, CA) is offering a new display and a new storage device for its Tl200 laptop com puter. For $475, you can get a backlit supertwist display swapped in . For $1200, you can have one of the Tl200's two 311.i inch floppy disk drives re placed with a 2~mega byte bard disk drive. · NCR Microelectron ics (Dayton, OH) has a new SCSI host adapter chip that can interface the IBM PC series, PS/2 Model 30, and compat ibles to any small-com puter-system-interface (SCSI) peripheral. NCR claims that the chip has a higher level of integra tion and greater versatility than its competitors. Product marketing engi neer Prasan Pai declined comment regarding which companies would be the first to use the new chip. The CMOS 53C400 uses two rotating 128-byte buffers and a Move Block instruction to pro

Chip Set Will Yield 80-MFLOPS PC Cards, Company Says

H ow about an 80-mil lion-floating - point  operations-per-second (MFLOPS) coprocessor card
for about $3000? Sound too good to be true? Interstate
Electronics (Anaheim, CA) says it will introduce a wave front array processor chip set by the end of next year that will pack performance of 80 MFLOPS onto a PC size card. Cost of the cards will probably be around $3000 each, and the com pany claims that you'll be able to hook four of them together to produce 320 MFLOPS of computing power for less than $20,000.

Those will be rather spe
cia lized MFLOPS. A wave
front array processor is de signed to work on problems best solved by highly paral lel methods. This means ap
pl icat ions such as CAD,
imaging, engineering and scientific simulatjon, com putational fluid dynamics, and signal processing-the classes of problems often worked on by super computers.
The Inter tate chip set will be based on the QUEN architecture, developed at Johns Hopkins University. QUEN uses an array of pro cessors, with each pair of ad

jacent proce sors haring a dual-port memory. Informa tion is passed via the mem ories, and the memory units also handle memory-ad dress generation and control data flow. The design pro duces a fast parallel process ing system with minimum computational overhead.
The first QUEN-based processors are being built using Analog Devices ' 32 bit djgital signal processing (DSP) chip sets. Like many DSP chips, the Analog De vices sets are limited to fixed-point arithmetic , but like DSP chips in general, they extremely fast.

Falling Prices, Changing Tech niques Could Put GaAs in Your Next Personal Computer

Gallium arsenide (GaAs) chips have been considered an exotic but ex pensive technology. Micro processor experts have agreed that until costs come down and yields go up, the chips will not find their way into personal computers. Costs have been corning down slightly, and several chip makers now say they're able to raise reliable output.
"Most of the groups working on it wanted to build the fastest devices they could," said David MacMil lan, one of the founders of Gazelle Microcircuits (Sant.a Clara, CA). "They tended to have low yields, and since the fabrication plants were not heavily utilized, costs were high. GaAs chips were also historicaUy diffi  cult to use; they required multiple power supplies, had nonstandard logic switching levels, and required unjque ceramic circuit boards to handle the microwave switch ing levels," he said. "We wanted to take GaAs' high speed and make it available."
Gazelle is one of the chip designers trying to solve

some of the problems and lower the costs of puujng GaAs in personal com puters. The company recent ly announced its GA22V10, a GaAs version of the 22V 10 programmable logic device. The 22VIO isn't a household name with most computer users, but according to Mac Millan it's commonly used in memory caching systems for high-performance sys tems based on the 80386, 68020, and newer reduced instruction-set-computer (RISC) chips. The PLO is used for custom logic that in terfaces the fast processor to slower dynamic RAM and a fast RAM cache.
The GA22V IO uses stan dard TTL logic levels for all inputs and outputs and runs from a 5-volt power supply. But inside, the gates are all GaAs. As a result, the propa gation delay is 10 nanosec onds or less; that means the GA22V 10 can run at speeds of 90 MHz or faster. The fas test silicon 22V 10 runs at a top speed of around SO MHz.
MacMillan explained that because Gazelle engi neers chose a high-volume

standard part for its first chip, they were able to de sign it conservatively . "We traded off a little speed for reliability," he said . The re sult is that Gazelle is al ready getting good chip yields, MacMiJlan claimed. The company uses outside foundries to manufacture the chips.
The GA22Y JO is more than three times as expensive ($55 each in 100 quantities) as silicon ch ips with about half the performance (around $16 in 100 quanti ties), which makes it too expensive for most PC-type applications. The advan tages of GaAs-high speed and steady performance across a wide range oftem peratures and voltages make such chips worth the price for some designers . But MacMillan said that with improving yields and vol ume, within 3 or 4 years GaAs chips should fall to around $10. The company will be introducing several products by the end of this year- more PLDs, as well as " other standard' parts," MacMillan said.


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h11·e111or and entrepreneur Dh·k Erell explains ho ll' 'The Actil'ator" pro1·ides sane proteuio11for your in · telleclllal property.
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Microsoft.Pascal 40

(M.icrosoft BASIC 6.0 Microsoft C 5.1

The people who co-developed the indus try mo t powerluJ personal computer operating system are now proud to announce programming languages to match.
Introducing Microsoft Macro As.5embler 5.1 C 5.1 Pascal 4.0 FORTRAN 4.1 and BASIC Compiler 6.0.
Five industrial-strength, tand-alone lang uages that combine the implementation flexibility you've enjoyed under MS-DOS lt (which, of course, they still support) with the advanced capabilities you've anticipated from OS/ 2.
Capabilities such as the ability to develop

large sophisticated applications which go beyond the 640K barrier taking advantage of up to 16MB of RAM and utilizing the potential of today's microprocessors.
Just like their MS-DOS predecessors these five new languages are equipped with powerfuJ, professional features you work with, not around:
Support of direct calls to the operating system, and inter-language calling for mixing multiple languages on the same project.
Access to OS/ 2 system calls and a full complement of utilities, including an
incredibly fast incremental linker and the

Microsoft.FORTRAN 4.1
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Microsoft.Macro Asrembler SI

first protected mode programmer's editor that works equally well in real mode.
Microsoft CodeView, our popular:
advanced debugger that lets you untangle pr gram logic at the source code level no matter what code you re u ing.
(It ven lets you debug protected mode programs up to 128MB of virtual memory and larger programs than ever before in
real mode.) the perfect complement to our new
languages we're also offering the Microsoft
OS/ 2 Programmers Toolkit. It contains a parameter-by-parameter

breakdown of all OS/ 2 ystem call and samples to get you started.
All the tools you need for turning out larger, more powerful, more complex OS/ 2
applications. (And incidentally, all the tools we rely on
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professional languages dealer, simply call
800-541-1261 Dept. 896. Ask him for some more information on
our OS/ 2 family. He'll show you me languages you can
really swear by.

Micrmof1. M ·00 and Code IC'"' 31"!' reiii'ilered 1radcmark.· ol M~ft COl'J)Onuion.


vide data burst rates of up to 1 megabyte per sec
ond, NCR says. Control over data burst rates per mits matching speeds
between a bost bus and a SCSI peripheral.
· Researchers at Stan ford University (witb sup port from the U .S . Air Force) have developed a device called a "nano indenter" for testing the strength and frictional
resi tance oftb in fllms
with thicknesses of less than l micron. The results from submicron materi als te ting can belp eQgi neers determine the wear resistance and corro sion characteristics of ICs and other applications using thin films.
· atlonal Instru
ments (Austin, TX), which makes a variety of IEEE-488 test and analy sis devices, is now run ning seminars on data ac quisition and analysi using personal computers, like IBM PCs and Mac IIs. Besides how to choose and use a data acquisi tion system, the lessons will include training ses ions on hooking up sen sors; capturiQg and graphing points; and for matting, filtering, com pressing, and displaying waveforms. The semi
nars run until November
in locations throughout the U.S. For more infor mation, pbone (800) 531-4742; in Texas, dial (800) 433-3488. · For everyone who' waiting for a new desktop presentation program for tbe Macintosh, Software Publishing Corp. (Mountain View, CA) plans to rele.ase one next year sometime. The com pany is developiog the program in conjunction with Three D Graphics (Pacific Palisades, CA),

Currently, the company can put about I0,000 gates on a chip, and the number of gates per chip is roughly dou bling every year, he said. MacMillan would not com· ment on the prospect of GaAs CPUs except to say that

in 2 to 3 years, the number of gates on a chip will be high enough to support such a processor.
Engineers at chip giant Texas Instruments have fash ioned ICs containing GaAs and silicon transistors, com

birung the former's high speed with the latter's high density and low power use. With an innovator like TI behind such a project, desk top PCs powered by GaAs are likely within the next couple years.

DAI Hopes to Out-DOS MS-DOS with DA DOS 

D igital Research, Inc. (Monterey, CA), is hop ing a new operating system will help it regain some of the ground it lost to Microsoft. DRl says its MS-DOS work alike, called DR DOS , is a better operating system than Microsoft's. The new oper ating system is ROMable, of fers 5 12-megabyte disk par titions and password protection, and costs up to 50 percent less than its com petition. But thougb DRI says DR DOS can run all MS-DOS software, the sys tem's commands aren' t ex actly the same-and, at le.ast initially, it will be sold only to OEMs.
The new operating sys tem wasn't his company's idea, according to DR I's Michael Malloy. OEM cus tomers asked for an "entry point" operating system that would ease the migration to DRI's Concurrent DOS. "It

wasn·t designed as a clone
[of MS-OOS]. What we've done is used our own com mands and command struc ture to create a wholly proprietary, unique product."
DR DOS can be put into ROM and executed from ROM. "These days, RAM chips are a precious com modity," Malloy said. "A ROMable operating system is valuable for laptops, be· cause it gives you 'instant on' capability, and another use is in diskless PCs that func tion as nodes to a network." At 64K bytes, DR DOS is also slightly smaller than current versions of MS-DOS. DRI will also offer version 3 of its GEM mouse-and menu graphical interface as an opt.ion for DR DOS; like the operating system, GEM can run entirely from ROM .
Malloy said some of the commands in DR DOS will

be familiar to MS-DOS users. "Some commands are generic; for example, FOR MAT and COPY. And others date back to CP/M or earli er , such as DIR," he said.
Though DRI claim DR DOS can run all MS-DOS compatible software, DR DOS isn't being presented as an inexpensive MS-DOS copy. Malloy emphasized DR DOS's extensions be yond MS-DOS : large hard disk partitions (up to 512 megabytes, compared to MS DOS 's 32 megabytes); password protection for all files and subdire~tories; and a built-in help ystem be hind each utility. "You can bring up help at any time with a single key combina tion, " said Malloy.
Although ORI will ini tially sell DR DOS only to OEMs, the company is looking at the end-user
ma rket.

Company Claims to Cut Cost and Time of Prototyping Custom Chips

0 ne oftbe fastest-grow ing areas in the com puter business Is the appli cation-specific integrated circuit (ASIC). ASICs are custom-design.ed chips for specific applications. How ever, ASICs typically are ex pensive to produce; chip makers need high volumes to justify the investment.
United Silicon Structures (US2), a San Jose, CA- based subsidiary of a European based ASIC manufacturer, hopes to change al I that with an ASIC manufacturing

method that allows "short term prototyping" and low volume production of ASIC designs. The company uses "E-beam" technology to write circuits directly onto the silicon wafer rather than using traditional photomask ing techniques. With E· beam technology (variable width electron beams), multiple ASIC designs can be produced on a single wafer. US2 claims that as many as 21 designs have been proto typed on a single wafer. In contrast, traditional photo-

masking allows only a single design per wafer. Witb the E-beam method, a customer can get 10 guaranteed pro totypes in about 8 weeks for a cost of around $20,000, US2 says.
As tbe cost of proto typing ASIC designs come down, ASICs will be used more frequently in produc tion computers. According to US2 's Jacques Castaillac, "until now the main use of ASICs has been for logic re placemenl. The new trend

16 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

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mon consulting pitfalls. estab.. lish trust. market your services,
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E.dmond H. Weiss

This expert guide shows you how to write a manual using a
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Meilir Page-fo'1es

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reply ca rd. · If you want the Main nothing. and it will be sent to you automatically. · If you prefer another selection. or no book at all. simply indicate your choice on the card and return it by the date speci lied. · You will have at least 10 days 10 decide. If. because ol late mail
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The Library of Computer and Information Sciences is the oldest. largest book club especially designed for computer pro fessionals. In the incredibly fast-moving world of data processing. where up-to-the-moment knowledge is essential. we make it easy to kep totally informed on all areas of the inform ation sciences. What's more, our selections offer you discounts or up to 30% or more orr publishers· prices.
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which brought us Boeing
Graph, aka Perspective. · 3Com (Santa Clara, CA) has trimmed the prices of its adapters for connecting PCs to Ether net and token-ring net
works. EtherLink 11 will now sell for $445 in
stead of$495, and Token Link will sell for $595 instead of $650.
· CMS Enhancements (Tustin, CA) will soon start selling an external 30-megabyte SCSI bard disk drive for the Apple
Ile and IIGS and a simi lar-size unit for the Mac Plus, SE, and IL The half-height 3'h-inch units have an access time
of30 milliseconds, a
spokesperson said. The Ile/IIGS model will have

is to put entire y terns on silicon."
Castaillac predicts that
by 1990, the volume of ASIC
production will match that

of printed circuit boards. By the end of 1989, US2 will be offering I -micron CMOS
ASICs (current designs are
1.5 microns).

US2 also offers ASIC de sign software that runs on Sun Microsystems worksta tions, Apollo workstation , and IBM PC AT computers.

Weitek Says New Math Chip Cures "Anem ic" 386ers

C alling 80386 machines "anemic number crunchers, " Weitek has de signed a single-chip floating point coprocessor for ma
chines based on the Intel 80386. The new Weitek Abacus 3167 coprocessor is object code-compatible with the Weitek 1167 copro cessor chip set and is avail able in 20- and 25-MHz versions .
In sustained perfonnance at 25 MHz, the Abacus mea sures 0.7 MFLOPS double precision UNPACK and 1.0 MFLOPS single-precision UNPACK, the company

claims. These figures rep
resent floating-point perfor mance comparable to that of a VAX 8560 and about tri ple that of the 80387 math coproce.ssor, according to Weitek official John Rizzo. In a demonstration, a three dimensional image screen refresh appeared significant ly faster with the Abacus than with an Intel 80387 1.4 seconds versus 4 sec onds, according to Weitek.
Weitek president Art Collmeyer said that present 80386 systems, even with 80387 coprocessors, "fall well short of the perfor

mance standards for engi  neering platforms. PCs make up less than 20 percent of the CAD/CAM market." hopes to raise that percentage with Abacus.
The chip plugs into the 121-pin Extended Math Co processor (EMC) socket supported on many 80386 system boards, including those from Compaq, AT&T, Dell, NCR, Sun, and Hew lett-Packard . An optional daughterboard allows in
stallation of both the Abacus and the 80387 coprocessor, for maximum flex ibility.

With Maplnfo!I More Ways Than Ever To Map Your Data

Pil Map. A.Ltooialically use Yllf exism.J database {from dBASE Ill or others) witll street maps that we can suppl~ Maps from over 300 US. cities and ICM'l1S cootari all iltl"esses. <mrate to the correct block and side of the street. Type any address and Maplnlo
will find ii !Of you. Call to tile screen
your complete record.

Thematic. Use our lxm:laries !state or county) or drawyour own (sales re;ilons. electioo districts. etc.). Create a database for the region (population,
average income. etc.) Color code txlUlldaries or entire rel,lions based on parameters yoo define.

PresentaUon. Use powerful graphics commands to add your own titles .
leoendS and text. Create arrows. wroiws ()" calkllts Tum oo cw off labels of JXJmts. stree1s. IJicJges, regions. etc.

Visual Database. Oraw iJ'lythio;i from a flOO' Jill to aircran OOsVJ. Stcie clata oo any ~nt cw re;iloo. Create1T1Jltiple laye-s 10 add flexibility to yoor display.

And that's just a sample. It you need to map your data, Maplnfo can do it for as little as S750. IBM PG or 100% compatibles, with 640K memory, a hanl disk drive, and graphics capability.
To order, call 1-800-FASTMAP. In New Yort State, call Hi18-274..S673 (Telex 371-5584).
Maplnfo Gorp., 200 Broadway, Troy, NY 12180

dBASE Ill ls atrademarl< or Ashton-Tam. IBM and 1BMPCare uadematlc.s or lnremauonal Business Machines Corp.


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a list price of$955 . The Mac model will list for $895. · The Thing That Would Not Die, Part U: "Home business" was again the magic phrase of computer makers and other equipment manufac turers at the Summer Consumer Electronic Show in Chicago. Near ly every manufacturer who sells a c-0mbination of desktop PCs, typewrit ers, personal copiers, one- or two-line tele phones, or low-cost fac simile machines is trying to peddle them for the home business market. There are about 13 mil lion home businesses in the country, says the American Home Business Association.

The Abacus or 1167 chips do not support the 80387 in struction set, however. Ap plications written for the 80387 must be recompiled to run on Weitek's chips .
IBM does not currently support the EMC socket in its 80386 systems, but Far Point Engineering (Atlanta, GA) has announced a Micro Channel expansion board that uses the Abacus chip. Rizzo said Weitek hopes IBM will support the EMC ocket but declined to com ment further .
Several major engineer-

ing software and compiler vendors said they 'll support the Abacus coprocessor. These companies include Cad.Key, MCS, MacNeal SchwendJer, Swanson Analysis, Lahey Computer Systems, MetaWare, and other developers of engineer ing, statistical, and CAD/ CAM oftware. However, the Abacus chip poses difficult problems for companies that have traditionally relied on mainframe and minicom puter customers for the bulk of their revenues. For example, MacNeal-

TECHNOLOGY NEWS WANTED. The news st(Jffar BYTE is interested in hearing about new technological and scientific de velopments thal might have an impact on microcomputers and
the people who use them. If you know of advances or projects
relevant to microcompwing, please contact the Microbytes staff aJ (603) 924-9281, send mail on BIX ro Microbytes, or write to us at One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough , NH 03458. An
electronic version ofMicrobytes, which offers a wider va riety of computer-related news on a daily basis, is available on BIX.

Schwendler is porting its lower-priced PAL2 finite element software but is reluc tant to port its high-priced NASTRAN software, ince that would undercut the company's minicomputer business, where prices and profit margins are higher
than in the microcomputer industry.
The Abacus chip can be sampled now but won't be widely available until the end of the year. The chip is being manufactured for Weitek by Matsushita Elec tric Co. of Japan. The OEM price in quantities of 5000 is $445 for the 20-MHz chip and $882 for the 25 -MHz chip; the daughterboard
with a 20-MHz chip is $595. At the retail level, these prices translate into $1200 to $2500 added to the cost of an 80386 ystem, or at lea t
three times the cost added by an 80387.

Checks Printed

Transmitted Invoice

Price. Qty, Part# lfatched
Invo; ~~ Stamped 














Check Register

Open Accounts Payable





Circle 203 on Reader Service Card

Circ/11 171 on Reader Serviu Card


D BUSINESS 1-EZ-FOA MS business form I ~erallon. complelion and prin tll1{j program.
0 CAD 3-The PC-Flow 1.0 compu1er 8lded !low·
I cha<! generation program. ColGt graphics required,

~ COMM 4a,b,c ,d ,&-{5 disk$) Join 1he world of

sysops wiltl RBBS B~lebn Boatd System 14.ID.

[ID DATABASE 111 ,b-{2disks) Rio Expmss3.8

0 moo u d-iven general purpose dalabase manege<. EDUCATION 1- lmerac1iV\l DOS tutorial lc>r now

PC usef'9 . Malu>s loam Ing DOS palntass..

[ID FINANCE 1 a ,b-{2 disks) PC Accourllam 2.0
personal boolllle~ng ar.:r tll'latoce management.
0 GAMES 1-3-0 Pacman, Kcng, Spacow111, Janil Joo, Munstic Flightmare and more. Color require<!.
0 GAMES 2-<JubOO. Panqo. Centlpede, dl.11'1

Recursion vs. Iteration In "Problems and Pitfalls" (June) , Al fred A. Aburto Jr. compares the usual

geons and dra{lons style Zoarre. etc. Color req.
0 GAMES 3-alad<jac:k Wllh cuSlomiuiblo rules, Amochair Oua<!erbacic (you caU plays), and mora.
D GAMES 4-Srar Trek. !he Ca:i~e a<Nenl!Jle
garno. and the ong1nal Colossal Ca.e-s Adventure. ll!
0 GAMES 5-The Haclc advervure game from the ~
lo uriv&rsitie:;. lJ<e RQll~. only much rlch61'.
0 I GAMES 6-Pinball, ~hello. Or~ons. Soµwflh
m I (fl)' a Sopwi!h Camel) and mote. Colet requited. INFO 111,b-{2 CllSl<s) Cooking recipes database

Fibonacci benchmark to a "nonrecursive form" and says that "the performance differs by a factor of over 4500. Appar ently, recursive function calls are highly inefficient" (page 224). This is incor rect. In the Fibonacci benchmark, when fib(24) is called once, it turns out that

m I with keyword/ingredient relrie"al . Add your o wri. MUSIC 2a,b--<2 di<I<.$) PianoMao 3.0 POiyphonic

0 music record·ng and pla)'back program. ORGANIZER 1-0eskTeam. a SldelllCI< done,


fib(23) is called once, fib(22) twice, fib(21) three times, fib(20) five times, fib(l9) eight times, and so on, down to

and the Judy p&rsonal calendar p-~ram.

0 I PRINTER 1- Reskleru ptin1 con1·rol and 1on1 I ublity. in! OiP(>Oier. banner maker. and more.

0 SIMULATION 1-Maze making program. MIT's
I L~e simulation, starfields. ere. Color graphics req.

0 UTILITIES 1- A collec1lon of lrwaluabla goneral purpose DOS U!li ties. An absolute musl IGt all.
0 UTILITIES 2-More <lvaluable DOS u1l ities <l-


dU<fn<I screen burnout ram dis and mom.

0 I UTILITIES 3-A ccmpn;hensive set of debugging

28,657 procedure calls to fib(2) . This re dundancy causes the efficiency loss.
This and similarly inefficient recur sive procedures often lead to the conclu sion that recursion is necessarily bad compared to iteration. (That is the real comparison here, not recursion versus

and dt:agros8c ulill!i&s fo r monitoring your compuler.
0 I BUSINESS 2-Expres~r.>J;>h busine5s graphics. Chart your dala aoo find 1rond& Color graphlcs rllQ. ~ CAD 1a,b-i2 Oisksl FlngeJl)a1<1t 1.2 advanced

"nonrecursive" procedure calls.) How ever, any recursive routine can be writ ten iteratively, and vice versa; it's easy to write a recursive fib( ) with no redun

painuog and Altamira objec1 orienfeCI design. Color. ~ CAD 2a, 2 disks I DanCad3d. an advanced
2000 dratting program w/ ¥1ima1ion. 640K. color.

dancy. The only reason recursion is usu
ally singJed out as worse is that it's easier

11) COMM 2a, 2 disks) P rocomm 2.42. an exool

to overlook redundancy in procedure

l&nt moc!etn program witfi 1 rmlnal emulation.
0 EDUCATION 3-PC-Fas1ype 1.201yping tulor.
rn daal lot beginnefs and advanced sbJdents alike. FINANCES 38,l>-{2 dislls) Cale 3.12. a ~erful and user trlencly spreadSheet prog ram.
0 GAMES 8-Stnker hei o:>ptet artact< anc1 Risk. the

calls than in a FOR . .. NEXT loop.
The benchmark tests procedure calls and addition. (It would be nice to remove the addition, but then there would be no

game of world domination. Color required.
0 GA.MES 12-Sacl\gammon hllay the compuierJ ancl Wheel ol Fortune based on the games'low. 

answer to test.) It's difficult to compare recursive procedure calls to nonrecur

0 GRAPHICS 1-Aecord and play back screen im sive proc
edure calls, because it's diffi

ages! E~c:&llent tor demo. elc. Colet required. 

00 GRAPHICS 2e,b,c--(3 dtSkS) An exceUent 3·0 
 surface modeling and shading PfOllfillTl Color. 

cult to write a program with one that does exactly the same as a program with the

[lJ INFO 28, 2 dlsl<s) Zip-f'llooe. rlilllonal 
 areacodelpreh to ·;p-code cross reh:trenca. 

~ LANGUAGE 3a,t>--(2 dislls) The A66 3.09 

other, but the Fibonacci benchmark does a good job of comparing procedure calls

moero assembler arid dobvgger lor 8056/S612e5s. 
 ~ SHELL 4a ,b-{2 dlSl<s) Automenu and HOM 11 

4.04 hard <f"k pmg. for custom lul~so-_, menus.
0 UTILITIES 5-Haro disk uoHtle$ tor v&rifying, lor

under one compiler on one machine to those under another.
Daniel J. Bernstein

man1ng. pall<ing and op!lmii;ing ro"r disk~""-
0 UTILITIES l>-A<!vanoed uulrues lnclu<fng

Bellport, NY

Marl</Release (i emove rasmn t progs wlo reboot~
0 UTILITIES 7-More advanced u~lll<Us irx;IU<ling

Rounding Calculations

Mas1811<ey (undeletes liles lrom hard <.isks) .
III WORD 1a, 2 di&kS) PC Wrne 2.7 1, a powenul word processing system wfspoll checl\e(, llllWlr supt

In "Error-Free fractions" (June), Peter Wayner discusses a weakness in digital

MOSI soltwa·e liSled is shareware or L>Ser·supporll)(f. 

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computing. ffis proposed solution, facto rial-base fractions, is more open-ended
than some alternative schemes of frac tional representation. However, regard less of the storage method, the results of
most calculations need to be rounded. Seldom do we consider that between

any two of the exactly representable digi tal values, there are infinitely many ra tional numbers.
In general, after multiplying two frac tions, as many bits are required to exactly represent the result as are required to represent the two fractions. l call this "doubling the denominator." Adding terms with denominators that are mutua.I primes also doubles the denominator. Recursive operations, such as those used in modeling or in producing fractal ap proximations, soon overflow any scheme of representation.
For example, using factorial arith metic, the Mandelbrot Set recursion z =
z2 + c, with c = 0.25 (.012f), requires
5, then 9, then 17, then 33 factorial terms, for the first four iterations. If you were to use a 256-byte array for the facto rial fractions, the result of the seventh it eration of thjs series would not be repre sentable. ln spite of the fact that 256 factorial terms can exactly .represent an enormous quantity of values (about !Oj07), seven or eight multiplications are sufficient to find a number outside the scope of the method .
I think we'll be living with rounding errors for some time to come.
Larry Van Stone Stillwater, OK
Rave Review I am not a subscriber to any personal computer magazine, although I pick one up occasionally. I want you to know that from the few BYTEs I've picked up, I have been impre sed with your articles
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Please double-space your letter on one side of the ~and include your name and addrt.SS. We can prinl listings and tables along with a feller if they are short and legible. Address corrupondence 10 Letttrs Editor, BYTE, One Phoenix Mill lone , Peterborough , NH03458.
&cauu of spau limitalions, we re.serw the righl 10 tdiI ltlrt1'$. Cknerally, fr takes four monihs from 1he time we receive a lerter until Wtl publish it.

Who Says FoxBASE+ 
 is Better than dBASE.? 

The Experts!

The Bestjust Got Better-Now Shipping New FoxBASE+ Version 2.10! 

icholas Petreley, hifoWorld Review Board.:
~ FoxBA E+ has outdon it elf. Once again, Fox.BA E+ earns an ·excellent in performance, with kudos for re ponding to u er ugge tion . For sheer productivity, there is no other choice. hifOWorld "Editors Choice for 19 7 and 198 !
P.L. Olympia, Founder & President, atio1ial Dbase sers
Gruup I Government Computer ews: "Fox.BASE+ i a upercharged dBA E, with all the featur s Ashton-Tate forgot. If you 're into erious dBASE development and have not tri d Fox.BASE +, you are living in the dark ag and wasting your company's money.n
George F. Goley IV, Cont. Editor, Data Based Advisor:
"Th product is fast, very com patible, fast , easy to u e, fast, relativ ly in xp nsive, and very fast. In every test, FoxBA E+ outperformed the oth r products. And people who answer the phone at Fox know wha th y are talking about.n
David Irwin, Former President/CEO, Data Based Advisor:
From th dBA E compatibility standpoint, FoxBA E+ is flaw 1 ss. From the speed standpoi nt, FoxBASE + is unbelievable. From the "lazy factor" standpo int, FoxBASE+ is perfect."
Glenn Hart, Conlribuli ng Editor, PC Magazirw: "Initial t ts of FoxBA E+ were imply stunning. In many ways, FoxBASE + give you the best or both worlds: all th ben efits of interactive development and debugging, plus the p ed and code protection of a compiler.n

Adam Green, Conlrilruti n.g Ediwr, Data Based Advisor,
dBASE Author: For the PC, FoxBA E has consi tently set the performance tandard for dBASE compatible language . For the Macinto h, FoxBA E+/Mac will et tandard for innovation and leader· ship in a new dBASE implementation."
Don Crabb Contributing Edi t-0r, 111/oWorla:
You can expec blazing pe d on th Mac. FoxBA E+ fac breezes past te ts that have proven tumbling block for Macinto h databas in th pa l. FoxBA E+ ·lac combines complete dBA E compatibility with a genuine Macintosh user interface."
This is what they aid about Version 2.00 or Fox.BASE+. Imagine what The Experts will say about New Version 2.10 with these added feature : Menu-Driven Interface, Pro gram Docomentor, Screen Painter and Template-Based Application Generator .. · and Version 2.10 is even faster than 2.00!
Join The Experts. Get your copy of the New FoxBASE + Ver
sion 2.10 today! Now available at your nearest, quality soft ware retailer, or directly from os by calling (419) 874-0162 Ext. 320.
Because, when it comes to speed, compatibility and l'alue, nothing runs like the New FOX- Version 2.10!

~?~~~~~~~~~ Fox Software ~~==

Nothing Runs Like a Fox.

Circlt I 03 on Rmdtr Sen·ict Card
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Circle 13 on Reader Service Card


on numeric method and calculati.ons


I j u t read " Error-Free Fractions" by

HASP-II is a

hardware de vice

that conne cts

externally into the

printer port of the


and PS/ 2 families.


Special electronic circuits form a uniq ue code allowing

Hardware for


only your customers to operate the protected software.

Software Protection '.Ee..

HASP-II is "transparent" to /he user. It does no/ interfere with the operation of other programs nor does it require "'

actual connection of the printer lo the computer.


Peter Wayner (June) . This was some thing completely new to me, even though I have taken a course on numeric analysis and my occupation as an engineer re quires me to deal with numerica lly inten
sive applications . BYTE seems to be unique among per
sonal computing magazi nes in carrying such ar ticles. and the articles that I have read intensively seem to reflect the state of the art. I hope you continue to carry such1frticles and continue the same high
quality . It makes your magazine a stand
out among per onal computer maga

V our custamer can create backup ccpies of his programs IM these copies cannot be use<J on anotl!er T''HASP!ess " computer.

i" zines.

James Larson

l mplemenlation is easy. You won't need /he source program in order lo protect your software. and yet ii you have the source. we offer you the option to check for the HASP-II from within the program at any lime. Software drivers are supplied.
N o automatic copying program or aevice will be able to crack the HASP-II. since no such tw ls can duplicate the plug. The HASP-II software is sophisticated and encrypted. The code retumerJ from the 
 HASP-II is algorithm dependent.

~ < 

Miru1eapolis, MN
Don't Reorder the Alphabet
As a program.mer and student of com puter science, I mu t comment on Billy

FOf' further lnform11tlon us at

In USA: M-Systems Inc.


ALADDIN P.O.B. 11 141 T·l-Avlv, 81110l ltrHI Tix. 35770/1 COIN IL Ext. JIL

920 Grand Blvd.


Deer Park NY 11729 il

K N 0 w L E D G E Tel: 97 2 -3-2 26286

Tel: (800) 2228887 .

S YSTEMS LTD. Fax: 972· 3·299170/1 Ext..IBL

(516) 242 3344/ 5 :£

R. Pogue's letter ("Reordering the Al phabet," June). Pogue claims that "a few moments' thought shows that if our al phabet were arranged in descending order of frequency of occurrence of the

letters, any earch based on alphabetic

order should go much faster, whether

done by humans or computers ."

What is a Best Western? 
 Io fact, computer search and sort algo rithms are completely insen itive to the codfog of the informat ion that they oper

ate on . That is, if you changed the order

of the alphabet and therefore its represen

tation as numbers inside I.he computer,

the search or sort would produce the

same results in the same time. The only

change you wou ld be able to see would be

the order of sorted infonnation, which

always follows the order in which charac

ters occu r in the alphabet.

The reason for this behavior is simple.

With very few exceptions, character data

in a computer is represented as 8 bits per

character. Therefore, the search or so.rt

algorithms operate on the same amount

of data, regardless of the coding of the

characters. It is the number of bits of data

rather than the coding of characters that

dictates the amount of time an algorithm

takes to run.

For a more rigorous proof of this p rin

ciple, refer to " Sorting and Searching"

by Dona.Id Knuth (The Art of CompuJer

The right place at the right price.

Programming, Volume 3, Addison-Wes ley, 1973), in which run times of various

Make reservations at any Best Western, 
 see your travel agent, or call toll-free 


algorithms are derived. In each case, the run times are dependent on the length of the information being earched or sorted


" ifurtd:f larg."SI rham of
independently O f M e d
and operated hotels. motor tllllS and ~ ' Ort ..

and are independent of the encoding of the information.

26 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Ours onlywins in three ofthem. 

1. How fast does it install. We have no compet!tloo In this categor\t LANlJnk sX lnstalJs
In about fifteen minutes. and it doesn't iakc a 1e<:hnlclan to do 1t.
Since LANUnk 5X uses sr.andard parallel or RS-232 serial pons.
Installing a netwOlic l1"learlS little more than coonecnng the ca)je and loading the software.
With hardware LANs. lnstallatlon can easlly rake cwo days
 onc to sec lt up and one co twe.ak lt. And Ir also cakes someone 

who rc:ally know:; what he's doing. That ts. sornc:one cxpemive. 
 · How fast does it transmit.
Okay. thl!i Ls the c.atcgOry we dorit win: the hardware LANs are generally a little quldccr. Ar. chcy arc llOOcr oplimal condl· r:lons. which Is how they ra~ themselves.
But LANUnk 5X Is pcetty quick. too. At halfa megabit per scan!. It's way out ahead of arrt odic:r ~tw~ LAN. and r1ghc at thc heels of the hardwarc cypes. Which. oC course. are far more expensive.
3. How fast does it maintain. The real cost of a netWOrk ls not so much the lnltlal prtt as it Is the continuing outlay klr rnruntenance-adapdng tuo needs. That's somcthlns l..ANUnk 5X docs practically on lrs own.

Runnin8 under PC.MOS/386" or PC.005. Lt rums your server PC
Into a multHasklng controller. driving a iruiy expandable LAN that
Is easlly and quickly upgradable. A~ LAN. on the other hand. becomes obsolete as new
cechoology Is introduced And. ro keep the network up and nmnlng
as applications change you need thc anendons of a n:chnlcian. on
4 a continuing basis. A very wcll·pald cechnldan. · How fast can you pay for it.

Now roughest

we've arrived at
ro beat.You


about the same cost as the LAN board In a board-clrNen necworl<...

On mp of mar. factor ln what yoti save on installalion and malrne

nancc lime. and the diffcn:ncc Ls pretty dramatic.

LANUnk 5X Is available tmmedlatcly. and It comes wtth a money

back guarantee. Its price of $595 lndudes a ~and a satrll~

module plus the nerwork operating

~ Additiooal satellitCS are avalJ. !:..Llli'J. '

able for SJ.25,

....... . . .

=== = = for can:pk:rc details on the fast·

CSl ~-driven ~rk avail·


a!je, call 60Q..451-UNK.

- -

LANUnk SX. Because three out

of four alrit bad


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And ina ll'or!1 \ 1r he re a ;~2k cache i" thPnon n .our;; expanel;: oZ.16k.
The Step :~6. 
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Find out morr 
 abcm St ep:ll fiand 
 Step 286 comp ut r rs. 
 l'all l-c(l0-3.)ti-1:& 'l. 

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A simple experiment prove the point ; that there is no benefit to reordering our the impression that I am against all re

Write a program that codes a file , giving arbitrarily ordered alphabet.

search in the field of artificial intelli

each character its order in the "new" al

Brad Brown gence (Al) . I regret that I may not have

phabet. Then use the DOS SORT command

Toronto, Ontario, Canada made myself clear on this matter, since

to sort some large text fiJe, once for the

nothing could be furthe r from the tru th.

uncoded ver ion and once for the coded Minds vs. Programs 

Al research has made significant prog

one. I tried it and found no difference in I read with interest the comment made 
 ress in many areas and added consider

the run time.

by Shawn Corey (May, page 24) in re
 ably to the body of human knowledge.

Search and sort algorithms are com sponse to my original letter (January, 
 We have also realized a number of tangi

plex and easily misleading. A few mo page 30). I would like the chance to ad
 ble benefits from this research, which in

ments' thought about how computers dress the issue Mr. Corey raised. 

some cases has been io the form of com

work, however , should convince readers To begin with , he seems to be under mercial products .

The point I was originally attempting

to make was that there are some inherent

limits to what AI is capable of realizing

Ifyou think Y.Oucan buya better Ccompileit don't. We'll buy it for you.

and that these limitations are not techni· cal but philosophical. Re-searchers in Al need to take a tep back from the techni cal aspects and ex.amine the enormous body of philosophical work pertaining to the nature of conceptual thought and how it relates to physical substance.
That this is necessary is demonstrated by Mr . Corey himself in that he appeals to a philosophical argument drawn from

the school of thought known as material·

ism. Materialism contends that we are

Buy Let's c· with csd'v 

essentially "meat machines," and if this were true, hi assumption that one day

forjust $75. Ifyou're 
 not satisfied, get 

we will invent a " nonmeat machine" ca pable of conceptual thought would be en tirely reasonable.

Turbo Cor QuickC. Free.* 

However, there is an opposing school of thought called , appropriately enough,

Why a r we making th l.s Incredible offer'? Becau w e're absolu tely L-er

lai n Let'· C and c:>d Source D ·bug_~er are lhc bt.'Sl C programming tools

you can own .

Res t assured that . ltkc tL<; compctillon. Lets C features Incredibly fas t

In-memory com pllation and produces cxlrcmely light. high quaJily code.

The d ilTerenccs lie in how much faster you can perform other programm ing


Our debugge r. for exam pl·. can ul d v lopmenl time in half. But thats

nc)I a ll :

"csd ts close lo the Ideal debugging en11fronmenL . . a d~/ln{(e aid co

teaming C and an Indispensable tooljor program d euelopm en t...

- Wiiiiam G. Won~. BYTE

And comparatively speak ing: "No d ebugger is Included In the Turbo C

package . . . a serious shoncomlng.··

- Michael Abras h . Pro~rammcr's Journal

Unli ke our compell ion. L ·l's C inclt1des tis own fulJ-featun::d assemble r.

fcalures documcntnuon wHh complete examples a nd technical up port with

complelc answers-thej1rs1 tlmc you call.

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So lf you 're lh inklngaboul buying any othe r C compiler. t11lnk aga tn . But lhl olTer is only avallab l for a llm lled time. So think fast. And see your sofiware dealero r call l-800-MW ·-1700soon. ll-312-689--2300 in Illinois.I
lbe:iu::ho.~!. :mJdtJ .rorn..rboCot"Qutt:kC. r.;tum l'tj.?.kSlrn 110n caf"d w~thln 1 5 dn~orf-:ret\Mir
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immaterialism, which is further divide<! into dualism (the idea that we are "meat puppets") and hylomorphism (the idea that we have a nonmaterial component nece sary for conceptual thought but that cannot be separated from the material component; there is no convenient and clever analogy for this one).
The immaterialist school has been held by such philosophical giants as Ar istotle, the Stoics, Aquinas, Descartes,
Pascal, Locke, Rou eau, Kant, and He
gel. If these thinkers are correct-and one wou ld be ob tinate to totally di re gard the work of such an august body then there cannot be a purely mechanical explanation for conceptual thought.
Even without appealing to ancients
who are frequently believed to have noth ing important to say to our age , I suggest that a number of modern scholars have demonstrated the value of philosophy to AI research. A persuasive argument was
put forth by John Searle. This argument is briefly stated as follows:

on tcitphOO(: ordtf'S_





I. Programs are purely formal (i.e., syntactical). 2. Sy ntax is neither equivalent to nor suf

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30 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

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SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY T E 31


3. Minds have mental contents (i.e., se
 would again suggest that those involved Processes," May). The article intro

mantic contents) . 

in Al research make every effort to ex duces five operations in a code fragment :

Conclusion : Having a program-any 
 amine the body of philosophical work

program by itself- is neither sufficient 
 pertaining to their subject in order to dis (Sl ) x : = y + z;

for nor equivalent to having a mind . 

cover what the most fruitful avenues of (S2) a := (b+J) · c ;

their research will be.

(SJ ) d : =e * a ;

Mr. Searle is , I believe , a material ist,

Marin David Condie (54 ) w := d- x;

and therefore he' s likely to contend that

Parsippany, NJ (S5) wr i teln (d , w} ;

some kind of machine can- in princi

ple- be built that is capable of conceptua l Nonrecurrent Steps

Clearly, S4 cannot execute until S3 has

thought. However, his argument with re I am writing to correct an error in Gary completed, since S4 requires a value for

spect to computers is difficult to refute. I Bricault's article ("Juggling Mu lt iple d, wh ich is cakulated by S3. Bernstein's
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - s e c o n d requirement-O(Si) n l(Sj) =

{] -leads to the same conclusion . The
= output of S3 "" [d]; the input of S4


{d, x], and the intersection of these sets is
not null.

Thus, S3 and S4 cannot be concurrent.

However, Mr. Bricault's precedence dia

gram (figure 3, page 317) for this code

fragment incorrectly shows S4 as con

current with S3 . The correct diagram is

as follows:



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Charles E. M. Dunlop Yellow Springs, OH
· Megahertz Corp. alerted us to some incorrect information that we published in our July 1988 Short Take of the Easy Talk board.
The list price of the board is $999.95 . It runs on the To hiba TI !00 in additi.on to the Tl 100 Plus and the Tl200.
After our July issue went to press, the company moved to 4505 South Wasatch Blvd., Salt Lake City, UT 84124, (801) 272-6000. · The price of Spot from Flag taff Engi neering (Computing at Chaos Manor, Aug ust , page 108) should be $995 .


Circle 206 on Readtr Suvict Card

ow ere's room 

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Circle 29 011 Reader Senice Card
Three wags to build
better'/Urbo Pascal,


Jerry Pournelle answers questions about his column and related computer topics



BASIC Pil.grimage
Dear Jerry, I was amused by your comments con
cerning Turbo Basic from Borland Inter national. When some things didn't work
as you expected, you patiently read the manual and went on to declare the prod uct a "success. " In contrast, however, you couldn't be bothered with reading the manual when doing a previous review
of True BASIC and went on to declare the
product a failure, referring to it as "True Madness."
Now that Microsoft has just released QuickBASIC 4.0, I expect you'll soon be
raving about its separately compiled pro
gram modules, calling them an "exciting development in BASIC programming." Of course, the program modules avail  able in version 2 .0 of True BASIC for the past 12 months "just don't seem like BASIC and will never be accepted by users ofGWBASIC."
Have you noticed that each new ver sion of QuickBASIC looks more and more like True BASIC and less and less like GWBASIC? The very features you condemn in True BASIC are being copied into Quick.BASIC and Turbo Basic- the ANSI BASIC standards. (Thomas Kurtz of True BASIC and Dartmouth College served as chairman of the standards
committee.) Whether you like it or not, Kemeny and Kurtz are dramatically changing the language. You detest their influence while unwittingly praising Turbo Basic and Quick.BASIC for copy ing most of the ANSI standards.
lo 1985, Apple Computer came very close to releasing MacBASIC, which in cluded many features similar to True BASIC. The language was developed by Apple's own software engineers. How ever, according to the Wall Street Journal (September 25, 1987), Apple president John Sculley killed MacBASIC and signed over the rights to the MacBASIC name when Microsoft's Bill Gates de manded the product be withdrawn and threatened to cut off Apple 's license to use Microsoft's program for the com pany's best-selling Apple II machine. Several of Apple's key software engi

neers resigned in disgust. The Joumlll quoted an Apple employee as saying, "He insisted that Apple withdraw what
was an exceptional product. He held the
gun to our head."
Sybex Publishing actually released a
book on the MacBASIC language-a book that suddenly had no market. Tell
me, is Mr. Gates a man we should all ad
mire and hero-worship? Alan F. Tomala
St. Clair Shores , MI
Well, to begin with, True BASIC had all the defects of a compiled language wi1hout the speed and convenience; it "compiled" into p-code and interpreted
that. Why would anyone want ro do that?
Turbo and QuickBASIC compile into stand-alone code that you can give your friends or sell/or jujubes.
I will also admit that the name True BASIC and the arrogant letters denounc ing "street BASIC " that accompanied it had a good bit to do with the attitude with which I approached True BASIC.
And whet.her you like il or not, the marketplace seems to have accepted Turbo Basic and QuickBASIC.
I hadn't heard the story about Apple and Bill Gates. I must have missed that issue ofthe Journal.-Jerry
Proof Positive Dear Jerry,
Once again, I take keyboa.rd in hand to perpetrate correspondence. You often wonder ifyou have any effect on the puter industry. You do. I offer the fol lowing as proof.
Some months ago, you reviewed the NEC MultiSync monitor. Your main complaint was that the adjustments were completely automated. (I'll pass over
Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psy cholcgy and is a science fiction writer who also earns a comfortable .living writ ing about computers present and future. He can be reached clo BYTE, One Phoe nix Mill Lane, Pererborough , NH 03458, or on BIX as "jerryp. "

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your gripe about the size of the screen. Maybe you shouJd consider hooking your current word processor to a projection TV set.) The new MultiSync IT has a full set of manual controls. Except for the mode selectors , everything is handily lo cated under a door in front.
Also, I would like to enter a comment
on your taste in text editors. You prefer
WordPerfect because it is "transparent. " I would call it "invisible." Adm.ittedJy, I cut my teeth on WordStar 3.31. Further, I actually like WordStar. Maybe that im plies something about my sanity, but at least my old faithful has a useful help fa cility. WordPerfect does not. If you ever lose that blasted keyboard template, you
may as well buy a supply of goose quills.
WordPerfect 's on-screen "help" comes in two flavors; you either specify
the key with which you want help or give
the initial leuer of the function you want. This assumes you know what !he various keys do and at what level of shift they do it. The "organization" of the function keys might best be described as anti mnemonic. (WordStar, at least, groups similar operations under the same Con trol-key menu .) Finding the letter that will call up help for a specific operation is mostly luck. It took me two tries before I could find the command to exit a file.
Even DisplayWrite, a program widely
regarded as the joke of the industry, has an index of help screens. If WordPerfect has such a feature, it is well hidden.
Finally, how can anyone with your no toriously poor vision even use that blasted template? My optometrist wbis Ues in awe whenever I bring him my new lens prescription, but I don't need an oversiz.e monitor. What I do need is a blowup of the template.
If you insi t on a transparent editor with automatic paragraph reformat, try PC-Write 2.71. It is faster, much more helpful, and does windows . Its worst fea ture is its documentation , which tends to ward the dense side of understandable. If I could find a book on PC-Write that's half as good as Arthur Naiman's book on WordStar, I would switch in a minute.
Bryan Edenfield
Allendale, SC
One thing that isn't generally known: when Art Naiman wrote his excellenr book on WordStar, he used WRITE, the text editor I usedfor so many years.
BRIEFiy Speaking
Dear Jerry, Last year, you casually mentioned that
you have problems running BRIEF with

SideKick and SuperKey (" In the Chips," September 1987).
We recently starte-0 using BRIEF here in the office, and we had similar prob lems. We tried to run BRIEF with Super Key and our own memory-resident soft ware and found that the machine locked up just as you described. We were using an IBM PC AT with 3 megabytes of memory.
Our solution was to set two switches when starting BRIEF. We set -k (lower case, no numbers) and the -p (lower case). The first i a keyboard-compati bility switch . It ' s odd to have to set this when a true IBM machine, but it seems that these memory-resident pro grams hang off the keyboard interrupt and can affect timings.
The second switch is a video-page compati bility toggle . Apparently , BRIEF uses the second video page to display text, and if some software doe n't support multiple video pages (such as SideKick or SuperKey), this can c:au e problems.
After setting these switches, we have experienced no problems in running BRIEF.
Terence 1. Griffin Washington, DC
l find I don '1 need the power ofBRIEF. and I've gone over 10 the Logitech Point
editor for most of my programming. If I
worked at programming full-time. I'd re consider, bur BRIEF had just enough commands that I'd keep forget1ing them , while Poinr is totally intuitive. -Jerry
Avoiding Custom Programming Dear Jerry,
At my law office, we had a very large relational database written ind.BASE III. But we had to change it all the time be cause the attorneys and the judges would always be asking for new reports that had not been set up previously. We ran into custom programming costs because dBASE Ill is too difficult for ad hoc querieS and custom reports to be de signed by the secretaries and the data entry- level people.
So, we rewrote the entire system in Paradox . Now data entry and secretarial personnel can create ad hoc queries and custom report.s with minimal time from our high-priced computing consultant. This saved us money. I thought you'd like to know .
Daniel J. Ashley Chicago , IL
I did wan110 know, and thank you for
telling me.- Jerry ·


a ona 




the EARSdesig n competition 

FIRST PRIZE - s1 00,000 






500 AMERICAN BANK loNER P. 0 . Box 2703 C ORPUS C HRISTI. TEXAS 78475 (512)882-6557

JACK s. Kil.IV. Dollos. Te«:Js. Electronics Engineer
HOWARD H. ARNOLD. Lewisville. North Carolina. Electronics Engineer JAMES S. NEWCOMB. St. Poul. Minnesota. Electronics El)Qlneer
HUllBlT w. UPTON. Arlington. Texas. Electronics Engineer - Alternate
PllORSSOR HUGH TOMLINSON. Ccxpus Christi. Texas - Coordinator

MILDRED CRUICKSHANK. Telephone connection ED POTTHARST. Multichan nel memoty

36 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988



HERE ARE 17,000,000 speech-deaf persons. i.e. do not understand speech, in the U.S. The
objective is to provide a communication device that will allow one-on-one communication.
The fina l EARS design, incorporating all possible operational and economies
of production. may be the composite of the prize winners' designs and may also Incorporate
features of the designs submitted by non-prize winners. Winners will be accorded cash and
royalties. All royalties negotiated by EARS wlll be passed through to the contestants. The royalties will be
apportioned by the Judges on the basis of their evaluation of the importance of each element submitted
by any contestant which is included In the Final Production Design.

Those desiring to participate should apply (by mail or phone) for a registered entry blank to the Executive Audia l Rehabilitation Society shown. Each entry shall Include design. programming instruction and an operating "bread board" model which need not conform to the size goals. EARS will compensate those contestants (whose entries are adjudged to be operationally feasible) for the current cost of the components used to build the bread board operational model. The entries will be evaluated by the Judges on t he basis of merit I.e. operationally effective that can be produced a t a reasonable cost.

Detailed conditions of the competition will be set out o n the entry form. DEADLINES: Entry forms must be procured and returned to EARS not later than October 31, 1988. Designs a nd bread board models must be received by 5 P.M. on May 1, 1989.

All designs submitted and accepted by the Judges shall be the property of EARS. No essential conceptual element of a design shall constitute a conflict with an existing patent. Conceptual protec tion of the device has been estab lished as of date of origin. Formal application for patents on pertinent features w ill be applied for by EARS. A firm of potent attorneys specia lizing in electronics is retained. All decisions by the Judges as to the award or non-award of prizes or royalty shall be final and shall not be subject to change. review or amendment by EARS.. its Officers, Executive Committee or the design contestants.

The gool is o deslgn foro hond·held. llghtweight reol flme communk:otiondeVice c:opoble of being produced at economical cost. The design should a llow a speaking person tocommunrcme on a on&-0n-0ne real time basis with the heoflng-lmpolred person In any situation where nor mol converKJ
e· s· lion occurs and wilJ prOll!de lorfiJtration ol extraneous noise. The goal ~a device contained In approlCimofely 6. )< ~ 1W . A ~ 7· screen will be on one
s!de. The~h-deof person can place It on a desk or hold it in hand. The speaker will first read a text ldentltylng hisphonetic alphabet In the memory. A multl-posltkln switch would allow storage of the phanetfc alphabets of dltterenl pe(SOOS. FOi telephone cons. the speech ot o pelSOO (who$e phonetic
alphabet ~ In one ot the memory cl'\Onnels or who reocts the text Into o new channel) will enter the communication device through o standard tele
phone plug. The device wlll be bottery-po<Neledwllh rechargeable batteries but prO\/ide tor a lternative operation "'1th o voltage converter. 1n1ens1Ve eleclronlc weech anolysls combined with the perSOl'IOI phonetic o1phobet o f the speoker "'111 result In the " real-time" production of the spolten words on the screen. The speech of the hearing-Impaired person not fitting the phonetic alphabet ol the memory should be littered out outOl'T'ICJticOlly H possible, otherwise manually.
EQuolly Important is a design lex tNsde\lice thot con be monufoctu1ed economically~ ltiot the cost Is"'1th n the meansat thisgroup ol people. many ot
whom may be economlcoJly disadvantaged.

Cirele 99 on ~aJer SeTVkt Card

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 37


Circuit Cellar's Steve Ciarcia answers your questions on microcomputing

Clipped by Clipper Dear Steve,
I have a problem with my Clipper ap plication, but perhaps it's a general prob lem . I can't find any way to access more than 15 files in my app)jcation because of the restrictions of MS-DOS. I think the only way I can solve this problem is to open another process, but maybe you could suggest something else.
Michael Stockel Berlin, Gennany
Your problem is not so much a restric tion of MS-DOS as it is a configuration problem.
Examine the con tents of your CON FIG. SYS/i/e ifyou have one. It should be in the root directory ofwharever disk you boot the computer from (if not, add this
file with the following) . See if there is a
FILES=?? sra1eme111, where ?? is a nwn ber that indicates the maximum number offiles any application can have open at
one time . You can increase this number to whatever you like, but each open file takes some memory, so the sky is not the limit. You sh.ould also add a BUFFERS,,?? statement to speed processing 1fyou have lots of open files . However, rem£mber that all this takes memory, and if Clipper takes too much to allow more open files, then you 're stuck because of Clipper, not MS-DOS.
Set the number offi/.es and buffers to the smallest value that accommodates your requirements. Typically. 20 is a good number. All this is listed in the MS DOS manual in grealer detail. -Steve
Seeiog Digital Dear Steve,
Since June of 1987 I have been consid ering purchasing a digitizer/transmitter and receiver system for several small systems that I deal with on a regular basis . The unfortunate part of the whole thing is that al I I know of how the system works is what I could catch up to in the June 1987 Circuit Cellar.
What I'm looking for is a total run down oo the system, including both its good points aad bad points. I plan on set

ting up a series of these in external cases and using my own telecommuoications network. Would you be willing to give me some information on this system and your own thoughts on how it can be app)jed?
Jason S. Beam Saco, ME
The definitive works on the Image Wise
video digitizing system are in "Build a Gray-Scale Video Digitizer, "Parts 1 and 2 (May and June 1987). The two subse quent articles ("Using the lmageWise Video Digitiur, "Parts 1and2, July and August 1987) went into some depth on ap plications for the hardware, featuring some image processing and colcrimtion
TN ASK BYTE, Sltllt Qarci.a, a compwLr con sultanl and electronics engineer, ansW<!rs qu~tions on any area ofmicrocomputing and hi.s Cimdz Q/Jar projecu. TM most repre· untative qiustions will be 1111SWtred andpub lishw. Send your inquiry to
AskBYTE Ont P~nix Mill /Ant Peterbcrough, NH 034S8
~ 10 rht high volume of inquiriu, we cannot gwaTtllllee a personal reply. All lerren and photographs bl!coml! tht propl!rty of Steve Oarcia and cannot bt ntumtd.
The Ask BYTE sraff manager Harv Wei1;tr and researchers Eric Albert, Tom Canrn/1, Bill Curll!w, Ktn Davidson , Jeannette Dojan, Jon Elson, Fronk /Wech mann, Tim ~h, £.dward Nisley, Didc Sawyer, R.oberr Stele, ami Mari< Voorhees.
programs that demonstrared how to write a software interface to the boards.
For your tekcommunicarion.s applica tions. you'll need to think a.bow transmis sion time and hardware control prob lems. The transmitter uses run-length encoding to reduce the volume of data, but you 'Ii still have about 30K to 40K byresfor each image. Transmitting an un compressed 62K-byte image al 1200 bits per second can take up to 9 minures.
The transmitter and receiver will work

when connected together, either directly or through modems, but you'll probably need to use a compuier at each end to handle dialing, selecting options, and so forth. We've used BCC-52s and BCC· 180s, as well as ordinary PCs and ATs, with success. Teaming a BCC-180 with a 9600-bps modem gives you quite a bit of power. This is exactly what I have done in a subsequent Image Wise project in the fifth issue of Circuit Cella.r Ink maga zine. There are some sample programs and images on the Circuit Cellar bulletin board system (BBS) that may be ofsome
use. Give it a call ar (203) 871-1988 and
see what we 've got for you.- Steve
Teaching an Old Board New Tricks Dear Steve,
Upgrading to a new system (from an IBM PC to an AT, or from an AT to an 80386 system) costs not only the pur chase price of the new system, but also the replacement cost for the boards. Could you design an adapter so that old PC boards would fit into an AT bus or so that PC or AT boards fit into a Micro Channel bus? Are such adapters already being marketed?
James P. Eshleman Jr. Philadelphia, PA
Using your old PC 8-bit expansion boards in the AT bus is just a matter of plugging them into any available expan sion slot. Actually, ATs and all the clones I know of provide 8-bi.t slots for video cards, serial ports, parallel ports, and so on, but 8-bit cards will work in any AT
expansion slot. Ofcourse, 8-bit memory
expansion cards won't be of much use, and while it would be possible to design an adapter, the result would be slot per formance at a high price. You could also use the PC XT 8-bit hard disk drive con trollers in an AT, but the 16-bit control lers are considerably faster and worth the exJra money for most people.
Adapting PC or AT cards to the Micro Channel is another story, however. There are system requirements built into the Micro Channel architecture that



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would make adapting these cards diffi cult and expensive. In addition to all the electrical problems, ATand XT cards are too big to fit into the PS/2 boxes. All in
all, adapters to fit PC and AT cards into
the PS/2 probably won't happen.-Steve
Translation, Please
Dear Steve, I ran across some long FORTRAN
source code recently that has what the 1tuthor refers to as Wamier-Orr diagrams in place of the more generic English com ment lines. As near as I can fathom, these diagrams appear to be a sort of con densed truth table outlining the program logic flow.
I'd like to know more about these dia grams so I can make some sense out of the cryptic symbols they contain . Could you or your knowledgeable readership offer any references?
James T. Himer Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Your question seemed easy until I started looking for an answer. Appar en1ly, programmers must have stopped using Wamier-Orr diagrams. Searching through back issues, /found two articles in BYTE: "Structured Programming with Warnier-Orr Diagrams" by David A. Higgins (December 1977) and "Wamier Orr Diagrams: Some Further Thoughts " by G. T. Wedemyer (May 1978).
The only recent reference I found was the book Diagramming Techniques for Analysts and Programmers by James Martin and Carota McClure (Prentice. Hall, 1985).-Steve
Hebrew Word Processing
Dear Steve, What can you recommend as a current
data book for information about soft ware? I once had a copy of The Whole Earth Software Catalog, and The Data Pro Report was highly recommended to me, but apparently neither is up to date.
I'm hoping to get specific information about word-processing programs in He brew and a shopping guide to word-pro cessing systems with scientific notation and plotting capability.
Ellen Dean Cambridge , U.K.
I can readily U11derstand your desire to have a truly current software directory. l 'd like to know where to find one myself
Unfortunately, in a business rhat grows and changes as rapidly as the microcomputer trade, any compendiums are dared before they 're published.
The most current infomwtion sources

are magazines such as BITE, PC Tech Journal, and PC Magazine. These maga zines contain the most current software/ hardware reviews, as well as manufac turers ' advertisementS, product notices, and other useful information. The manu facturers themselves are frequently the most useful information sources, al though one be wary ofhype. Of the directory-type publications, the one pub lished annually by PC Tech Journa l is frequently the most usefu/.
Although I can 't provide all the infor malion you need, I can offer some sources for informaticm on Hebrew word processing software for IBM-type PCs. Two companies advertising PC software with multilingual text capabilities, in cluding Hebrew, are Gamma Produc tions, Inc. (710 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 609, Santa Monica , CA 90401 ) and MegaChomp Co. (3524 Cottman Ave. , Philadelphi.a , PA 19149). - S1eve
Pictures, Hexes, and the Weather
Dear Steve, I have three unrelated questions. For a long time, I've been seeing
ASCII characters used to make some very good printer pictures . These pic tures are found on BBSes all over the country. I was wondering how these pic tures are made-some cannot even be listed to the screen and viewed. It takes an 80-column prinier set to condensed mode and a small line spacing to make any sense out of the image data . Is there a software or hardware package available that can produce these picture files?
I have a.ccess to an EPROM prog.ram mer. It has its own card that goes into one of the slots in an IBM PC (it's not a serial-type prognmmer; it' s like the $179 ones that many of the clone suppli ers sell), and it programs up to four EPROMs at once. I've seen ads for EPROM data on a disk that is in the Intel Hex format. I am not sure if my pro grammer will accept this Intel Hex for mat. Can you describe the Intel Hex for mat so I can determine whether or not it is compatible with my programmer?
Now for the hard question. A long time ago, you wrote an article entitled "Build a Computerized Weather Station" (Feb ruary 1982). You used a Heathkit ane mometer and a temperature sensor con nected to a computer to tell you of the changes in weather conditions. I'm al o interested in predicting the weather. In fact, I purchased a program that , when supplied with a few readings (data such as date, location, average temperature, and current atmospheric pressure), will

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forecast the next three days' weather and even draw a local weather map. I was go ing to rely on the local weather radio and the cable TV weather channel for the data, but when they said for three straight days that the high was 9°F (in summer), I knew I needed my own source for this data. I remembered your old article and decided that it should pro vide some guidance for putting together a computer-controlled system to take readings every hour or so.
I'm not a programmer, but I figure that with tria.I and error I can make a pro gram that will do what I want. The actual instruments and the interface to the com puter is a bigger problem. Can you give me any clues on this? Also, is there a bet ter or cheaper way for measuring wind speed and direction?
Don.a.Id P. Bolton Richland, WA
The "primer pictures " you mention are reminiscent of pictures I used to create when I was in school (before per sonal computers). The technique used in volved creating the drawing (on graph paper), determining the shading or gray scale, and assigning characters to repre sent the shading or gray-scale levels.
The character assignments followed the concept ofusing the density ofa char acter that is essentially centered in the character space. You can easily see that a +symbol has a lesser density than a# or
a @. It would then be a simple matter ro
code in the lines ofcharacter (even using backspacing to increase density) . I haven't experimented in this area in quite some rime, but since you can create the rules necessary to code the character lines, you should be able to create a pro gram to automate the process. This should be fairly easy, given that paint and video capture programs are avail able to get the image into the computer. I don 't know of a commercial program, however, that creates these pictures.
As to your question about the Intel Hex format for files , this format differs from the normal Hex file in that the data is transmitted in record blocks, with neces sary control and checksum codes. There are two types ofrecords. The data record is formatted as
:BCAAAAOOHH<data> .... CC <cr><lf>
where : is the start character, BC is the byte count ofthe record data (inclusive of control info) , AA.AA is the starting address of this record, 00 indicales that this is a data record, and CC is the two's comple

menr checksum of the binary summation ofall the previous bytes.
The end-of-file record is formatted as
where : is the start character, BC is the
byte coUllJ of the record's data, AAAA is the starting address ofthis record, 01 in diaues that this is an end-offile record, and CC is the two's complement checksum ofthe binary summation ofall the previ ous bytes.
As you can see, it would be a simple process either to append or delete the control information. A short BASIC pro gram would do the trick.
Regarding your third question , the methodsfor data collection ofwearher in formation have improved dramatically in recent years. Several devices are avail able to aid construction of these tools. Among them are the following:
· Temperature measurement: National Semiconductor's LMJ35-series precision temperature transducers · &rometric pressure: National Semi conductor's LX05xxA series Monolithic Pressure transducers · Wind directions: Hall-effect sensors and magnets
You 'II need to use the transducers in an analog environment, then convert the sig nals to digital information with an AID circuit {National 's ADC0802 is a fairly easy device to use). You can use the Hall e/feet sensors digitally for count or direc tion. National Semiconductor can pr<r vide information on these and other devices in its linear and digital families (including sample application data). Comact National Semiconductor Corp. , 2900 Semiconductor Dr. , Santa Clara, CA 95051.
You might consider buying a new in strument system thilt Heath is marketing. The Digital Weather Master is portable and has the ability to monitor tempera ture, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, and rainfall. It also has some "history" functions built in. Per haps you could investigate adapting this type ofunit to your needs (it might be eas ier to start with a functional and calibrat ed unit, then create the interface).
Concerning weather forecasting pro grams: I have investigated some pro grams (in fact, one ofmy associates went to great lengths to determine the reliabil ity ofone package). Unfortuna1ely, most of them use NOAA-derived formulas th<Jl are so generic in na1ure that their reli ability is highest in the midwest area of

the country. Extreme northern , southern, and coastal users will find that they need to fine·tune the algorithms to their native area. Consequently, it's always bestfor a new user to <ktermine ifthe program can be modified (source code is provided) or allows for some form of area-dependent offsets. - Steve
Have ROM Will Travel
Dear Steve, I have received conflicting informa
tion as to the possibility of removing the ROM BIOS chip from a Western Digital hard disk cont.roller card and inserting it into an empty ROM socket on a PC XT clone motherboard. Removing the W3 jumper on the controller card would then tell the board that it should look to the motherboard for its BIOS . The purpose of these modifications is to remap the memory add.ress of the hard disk BIOS from its normal C800 address in memory segment C into a location in memory seg ment F, along with the regular system BIOS . lfthe bard disk BIOS were in seg ment F, I could set up 128K bytes of my HiCard board (similar to the Max-It board advertised in BYTE) memory in segments C and D and put my 64K-byte Lotus/Intel/Microsoft Expanded Mem ory Specification (LIM/EMS) window in segment E.
This chip-transfer scheme was sug gested to me by someone in technical support at RYBS Electronics (which sup plies the HiCard board); he claimed to have done this himself. However, some one at Western Digital technical support said that he had never heard of this and did not believe it could be done.
My computer is an XT clone assem bled from parts primarily from JDR Microdevices. The turbo motherboard has seven sockets for 64K-byte ROMs . one of these sockets i currently used by the ROM BIOS chip. Can the suggested modification be done? I espe ciaUy have a problem figuring out how two 64K-byte ROMs on the motherboard map into the 64K-byte space of segment F. If this modification is possible, would I have any problems with application or utility programs such as Norton Util ities, Fastback or Coretest?
Franklin Chase Boston , MA
Maybe I don't quite understand what you 're trying to do, but it seems to me that
ifyou 're using EMS 3. 2 or EMS 4.0 with
the small frame option, you only need 64K bytes ofspace somewhere in the first megabyte ofmemory in which to put the

44 BY T E · SEPTEMBER 1988




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page frame. The expanded memory does nor go in10 this space.
Moving the hard disk BIOS mighr work, bull rhink you mighl then have to
boot wirh a floppy disk. The BIOS is pro
grammed to scan for ROM programs in the memory range from C800:0000 to
F4()():()()()(), so ifyou address ir as F800:,
the hard disk routines won 't be found during system start-up. /fit rums OUl that the 800 part of the segment address isn 't sacred. you might be able to locale it OJ
FOOO: and boot without trouble. If the
ROM is relocaud to F800: , you may be able to boot from a floppy disk and reset the interrupt vector ro point to F800 and operate the hard disk, but I don 't know for sure.
The empty ROM sockets on the mother board are for ROM BASIC (cassette BASIC), and inserring the ha.rd disk BIOS into thal area shouldn't interfere with the normal BIOS, which is only 8K bytes (the chip is 8K bytes by 8 bits).
Would this cause any probl,ems with utility programs thal do special things with the hard disk? Probably. I haven 't done this. and it is impossible to predict how various programs will react to a
change of this type. If you really want to
do this . l think you should call RYBS Electronics again and see ifyou can get the full scoop . Maybe someone tMre can tell you exactly how to set it up.-Steve
Fishing for IIGS Info Dea.r Steve,
I'm looking for information on the Apple IIGS. It's pretty hard finding any thing. Cao you help?
Todd Daugherty Chicago , IL
Your shortage of informa1ion on the /JGS isn 't unusual or unexpected, al though tM people aJ Apple Computer aren't as open with infomuuion as they used to be JO years ago.
The best source I'm aware offor infor mation is 1he A.P.D.A. (Apple Program mers' and Developers· Association), which has ~mbership dues of $20 per year and can supply development soft ware. as well as hard-to-find manuals and such , all at reasonable cost. You can contact A.P.D.A. at 290 Southwest 43rd St., Remon, WA 98055.
Another good source ofApple informa tion is Don Lancaster. See his columns in Computer Shopper magazine and Radio Electronic magazine for specifics on his horline and mailing address. His hotline number is (602) 428-4703 (business hours, weekdays, Mountain Standard time). -Steve ·


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The First Electronic Computer: The Atanasoff Story,
by Alice R. Burks and Arthur W. Burks
University ofMichigan Press, Ann Arbor, Ml: 1988, 387pages, $30
Reviewed by G. Michael Vose
H istory books tell us that the ENIAC machine was the first true electronic com puter. Its principal inventors, John W. Mauchly and J. Pres per Eckert, rightfully occupy a niche as pioneer in the an nals of computing. But a suc cessful 1973 court challenge to the ENIAC' patents showed that Mauchly devel oped much of the ENIAC's theory from information ob tained from another man: John V . Atanasoff.
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Like the early work of the brilliant English mathemati cian Alan Turing, John Atana soffs innovations were swal lowed up by the turmoil of a world war. Unlike Turing, though, Atanasoff never re turned to research in comput ing after hi s wa.rtime stint as a researcher for the United States Naval Ordnance Lab oratory in Washington , DC. Both Turing's and Atana soffs contributions to the sci ence of computing needed a chroniclerto secure them their rightful place in history.
T uring's story became a
major biography in 1984 (Alan

puter. Hi s original purpose

was to automate the calcula

tion of problems in physics , a

subject he taught and re 

searched at Iowa State Col 

lege. Specifically, he sought

to mechanize the solving of

large sets of simultaneous lin 

ear equations. To build such a

device, he first bad to develop

a method for solving these al

gebraic equations that would

lend itself to mechanization.

He decided that he needed to

solve sets of up to 29 equations

with 29 unknowns at an accu

racy of 15 decimal places.

Then, the task became one

of putting together the pieces

that would allow the execution

of the algorithm. Atanasoff

modified the standard Gauss

ian algorithm for solving si

multaneous linear equations.

His modified Elimination Al

gorithm required only addi

tion and subtraction opera

tions, avoiding the more

complex multiplications and

subtractions used in standard

Gaussian calculation.

This simplified algorithm

lent itself nicely to a digital

calculation mode like that

found in desk calculators used

Turing: The Enigma by An cal writer. Their book sets the 
 widely in the late 1930s. The

drew Hodges). Atanasoff's record straight about Atana
 Burkses' description of Atan

story unfolds in The First Elec soffs contribution to comput
 asoff' s algorithm makes it

tronic CompUler: The Alana ing theory. 

soff Story, written by a mem

easy to understand bow it led naturally to many of the deci

ber of the ENI AC des ig n The ABC Computer 

sions that resulted in Atana

team, Arthur Burk , and his Atanasoff did not set out to in
 sofrs computer.

wife AJice, a longtime techni- vent a general-purpose com-
 Atanasoffs assistant dur

ing the creation ofthe machine


was Clifford Berry, a graduate tudent. When the patent is

()NIX System Readings and Applic(l.lions, 
 Volumes I and II 

sued in 1964 to Mauchly and Eckert came under challenge in the 1970s, Atanasoffbegan

Progranuning Windows: The Micro.soft Guide to 
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referring to his early computer as the ABC, for Atanasoff Berry Computer.

Software Engineering: A Beginner's Guide

Once Atanasoff created his elimination algorithm, he and

Expert Systems for Experts

Berry proceeded to build a specialized computing device

Artificial Intelligence Programming with Turbo Prolog

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of the research team's pri mary constraints was money. They had only a little more than $5000 to work with at a time when electronic compo nents were scarce and expen· sive. Since capacitors, resis tors, and wire were cheaper than vacuum tubes, Atanasoff invented a memory system using capacitors mounted on a drum; that mechanism fur ther Jed to the invention of an elect.ronic switching add  subtract circuit.
Along the way, Atanasoff developed several other im portant ideas: a way to regen erate or refresh the charge to the memory capacitors; calcu lating in binary rather than decimal; and performing arithmetic with logic func tions in tead of counting.
The Burkse describe the development of these idea in the context of Atanasofrs at tempt to build amachine to ex ecute his algorithm. This mo tivation is contrasted with the early work of Mauchly, who was building machines to per form meteorological calcula tions. Mauchly's machine, called a harmonic analyzer , was an analog device. The kind of problem to be auto mated dictated the kind ofma chine needed .
Today, we .live in an era of I-megabit dynamic RAM memory chips in computers with circuitry to refresh mem ory on a regular ba is. But in 1939, refreshjng an electrical charge to a capacitor was a breakthrough idea . John Atanasoff intended to apply for a patent on this and the other ideas that went into the ABC machine. But wartime du.ty called, and that admfais trati ve task fell through the cracks.
Bones of Con.tention
The Burkses· book not only recounts the early work of Atanasoff, Mauchly, and Eck ert and describes the machines they built but examines these efforts in the context of the 1973 trial of Honeywell v. Sperry Rand. In this trial, Honeywell challenged the pat

ent granted in 1964 to Mauch ly and Eckert and Sperry Rand for the ENIAC in hopes of avoiding the high royalties be ing charged by Sperry Rand.
The court ca e provides a dramatic backdrop for the Burkses ' narrative. The au thors pored over the trial tran scripts and examined every document submitted as evi dence . They quote the trial transcript on many occasions to reveal how the Honeywell attorneys extracted from Mauchly testimony revealing that much of his ENIAC knowledge had come from let ters exchanged with Atanasoff andfroma 1941 visittolowato see the ABC machine.
Mauchly did not intention
ally steal Atana offs ideas. In
the manner ofmany scientists,
he attempted co make himself
aware of all the research on a given ubject and to synthesize his own inventjons given the current state of the art. Bor rowing and using ideas devel oped elsewhere is not uncom mon. Later, the absence of patent applications from Atan asoff no doubt made Mauchly and his employers think that the ideas they wanted to patent were available for claim. The social turmoil of an ongoing war only served to add to the confusion.
But the trial finally estab Ushed who invented what. The
author ' use ofthe trial as a de
vice to frame the historical narrative makes an otherwise dry read much more exciting.
An Ax to Grind It seems a truism to say that the people best qualified to record events are those who were in vol ved- un less , of course, they Jack object ivity . Co author Arthur Burks helped to build the ENIAC and well knew the other people in volved with it. Only someone so intimately involved could care enough to want to make sure that the historical record was accurate.
But Burks' s intimate in volvement in the events raises some questions. While he

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worked with Mauchly and Eckert to build the ENIAC, he had no qualms about encour aging his later employer , Honeywell, to challenge his old comrade's patent claims Setting the hi storical record straight is an admirable ideal, so long a that is the only moti vation. The fact that there was a trong economic motivation
taints ever so slightly Burks 's
role in telling the story. Maybe Burks's 1988 book
i intended to leave the world with the impression that his motives in 1973 were pure . Whatever the motivation, the resulting volume is another fascinating glimpse ofthe gen e i of one of this century' major scientific accomplish ments .
UNIX System Readin~ and Applications, Volumes I and Ilby AT&TBell laboralories, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs , Ni.' 1987, 416 pages (Volume I), 336pages (Volume //), $19 each. From Aho to Weinberger, these volumes are the who' who of Uoix research .
Unix originated at Bell Laboratories , and these books, originally published as Bell System Technical Jour nals in 1978 and 1984, contain about 20 insightful research papers each. Nearly everyone associated with the initial de sign and development of the Unix operating ystem con tributes.
Volume I covers the early to, a time when Unix was already firmly en trenched in government and university instal.lations. The papers discuss topics that are now commercial realities : "Unix on a Microprocessor, " "The C Programming Lan guage," and "Document Preparation ."
Volume II introduces re search from the late 1970s and early 1980 that relies heavily on ideas presented in Volume I. The original paper on
C + +, an ex.tension to the C
programmfog language that is

rapidly gaining favor, is here, a are papers describing the historical development of Unix : "The Evolution of the Uni x Time-Sharing System" ; " The Evolution of C-Past and Future" ; and "The Evolu tion of U nix System Per formance. "
There's little here for the programmer that isn't covered well io recent books, but for someone .interested in the de sign philosophies and original applications of Uni x there 's no better resource.
Most of the papers require a general knowledge of com puter operating y tern and hardware to be fully appreci ated; however, the writing style is so uniformly accessi ble that anyone with even a cursory interest in Unix:and its origins and design will find addictive reading in each vol ume.-Jason Levitt
Programming Windows: The Mk:rosoft Guide to Pro gramming for the MS-DOS Presentation Manager by Charles Petwld, Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA: 1988, 852 pages, $24. 95. Three year after Micro oft intro duced Windows, Charles Pet zold has produced the official guide to Windows program ming. Written for Windows developers, prospective Win dows developers, or the just plain curious, this book offers a solid foundation in Windows program development. Cover· ing a wide topic with very few omissions , Prog ramm ing Windows teaches the why a well as the how of program ming for Windows.
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Software Engineering: A lkgjnoer's Guide by RogerS. Pressman, McGraw-Hill, New York: 1988, 294 pages, $49. 95. This book is a sweep ing but measured overview of modem software design prin
ciples for students and entry level professionals. Roger S. Pressman uses the requisite buzzwords: "prototyping," "data design/flow," "trans
form/transaction mapping," "abstraction," "program de scription language," and "white-box testing, " and he provides supporting technical
detail and briefexamples. The author never loses ight
of the real applications his theory will be put to, ending each chapter with a section entitled "What Thi Means to You." The text flows relent lessly but easily from analyz ing the problem to designing lh.e solution , coding the pro gram, and testing and making

changes. The book' note
worthy conclusion is an ex
haustive software engineering checklist and comprehensive example.
- Darrow Kirkpatrick
Expert Systems for Experts by Kamran Parsaye and Mark Chignell, John Wiley & Sons, New York: 1988, 462 pages, $29. 95. The role played by do main experts in the develop ment of expert systems has expanded as the tools for building such systems have be come higher-level and easier to u e. Parsaye and Chignell 's book is aimed at domain ex perts who might be th inking of implementing an expert sys tem {with or without the help of a knowledge engineer), yet who are unfamiliar with arti ficial intelligence (AI) terms and concepts.
The authors provide a good, solid discus ion of a broad range of technologies and methodologies currently in use in the development of ex pert system . Chapters are devote<l to logic and logic pro· gramming, knowledge and knowledge representation, un· certainty. the inference pro cess, building experi systems, and knowledge acquisition and validation. The discus sions are uniformly good and sufficiently detailed . The chapter on uncertainty, for example, cover traditional probability theory, fuzzy logic, certainty theory. exact and emiexact inference, and quantification of uncertain knowledge. I found the chap ter on knowledge acquisition and validation to be valuable.
Detailed as the discussion may be, it is nevertheless fair· ly high level: There is no con ideration of hardware, nor of specific expert-system build ing tool {despite an offer to refund the book's price upon purchase of one of everal products from Intelligence Wa re , of which Parsaye is chairman). Although tbi book would be a valuable re source for anyone developing an expert system on his or her

58 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988 Circle 306 on Rtadtr Service Card (DEALERS.: 307)

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own, it could not serve as the only re ource.
The authors present the ma terial logically, with good use of accompanying figures and summaries at the end of each chapter. The appendixes ex pand on elected topics intro duced in the main text, includ ing search, general-purpose reasoning propositional logic, and relational data bases. A 33-page bibliography and index complete the end material.
Exper1 Systems for Experts has a broader audience than its tjtle implies. I recommend it for students of AI and novice knowledge engineers , and a a valuable reference for more advanced AI practitioners.
-Alex lane
Artificia l Intelligence Pro gramming with Turbo Pro log by Keith Weiskamp and Terry Hengl, John Wiley & Sons, New York: 1988, 262 pages, $22.95. Turbo Prolog books with the term "artifi cial intelligence" on the cover have gotten a bad reputation. A number of them merely rehash the user's manual or provide lengthy tutorials on funda· mental Turbo Prolog con cepts, paying only lip ervice to Al application . Happily, this book bucks that trend, providing useful code and ideas for the beginning-to intermediate AI or Turbo Pro log programmer.
Authors Weiskamp and Hengl try to teach fundamen tal AI programming concepts and to show how to write use ful programs in Turbo Prolog. After providing the reader with the obligatory opening chapters on the fundamentals of the language and its Turbo implementation they pro gre from general-purpose toolbox code to specific Al appl ication .
The ch.apter on buildfog an Al toolbox is deceptively easy to overlook ina first reading if you·reatall familiar with Pro log and looking only at the code. or if you're a beginner looking only for Prolog pro grams to run. The chapter,

however, contains many inter esting ideas on how to write portable Prolog predicates.
The discus ion of inference engines is ambitiou begin ning with a discussion of for mal reasoning and predicate logic, continuing with a de scription of forward- and backward-chaining control strategies, and ending with the development of a simple infer ence engine.
Despite a whirlwind intro duction, I found the discussion of natural-language process· ing quite meaty . Code i devel oped to implement recursive Iran ition network (RTN) and augmented transition network (ATN ) natural - language parsers. The final sections of the book attempt to deal with knowledge representation and expen ystems· however, there just isn'tenough room to give either subject sufficient coverage.
Although the scope of the book is too broad for its medi um ize, the authors go about their business in a clear fash ion with elUlmples that stick in your mjnd, such as a robot rid ing a bicycle downstairs to il lustrate cornmonsen e reason ing. The code, which is easy to read, is available on for $24.95. The book includes a g,lossary and an index .
While advanced AI or Pro log practitioners will find this book a bit light, others will find it a good way to learn more about AI and Turbo Pro log.-Alex Lane·
G. Michael Vose is coeditor of OS Report: News and Views on OS/2 (P. O. Box 3160, Peter borough, NH 03458). Jason Levitt is a Unix consultant liv ing i.n Austin, Texas. Philip Taylor is a Windows consul· tant and freelance writer in the Washington, DC area. Dar row Kirkpatrick is a free lance writer and computer consultant living in New Paltz New York. Alex Lane is a knowledge engineer for Technology Applications, Inc., in Jacksonville , Florida.

60 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988 Circle 166 on Rtader Service Card

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70-A21 and Tandy 5000MC
164 PostScript printers 183 Toshiba TS LOO
and GRiDCase 1530
195 AST Premium/386 203 Microcomputer fax cards 213 Ada on the Mac 219 Soft-ICE
225 Total Word
231 DataPlex
237 Review Update
SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 65


PROBE'· menu ---~~:ba.r and pull
 doM·ft menu el a 
 new standard for 
 inJt!r/act . 

PROBE ha.f -----'-::"''i'.
 dt!bugging to let 
 you "C" your 

mtmory-o,.tnvriu bug. Since ii is
interrupt related, it on/ tlpPf/JTS in real time.

Welc me to your nightmare. Your company has bet 
 the farm on your product. Your demon Lration 
 wowed the operating committee, and beta hip

Then, o you can look at the cau e of the probl m, the 386 PROBE automatically tore Lhe lase 2K cycles of progrnm execution. Although other debuggers may try to do the ame

ment were out on time. Then wham! 

thing, Atron i the only company in 1he world to dequeue Lhe

All your beta customers eemed to call on the same day. 
 ··Your ·oftware i. d ing ome really bizarre things: th y ay. 

pipelined trace data so you can easily understand it. finally, 386 PROBE' megabyte of hidden, write-protected

Your credibility i at ·1ake. Your profits are al take. Your 
 anity i at take. 

memory tore your ·ymbol table and debugger. So your bug can't roach the debugger. And o you have room enough to


debug a really big program.

You ra k our brain, trying to figure omething out I it a

random memory overwrite? Or worse, an overwrite to a tack

based local variable? J it equ nee dependent? Or worse,

random! cau ·ed by interrupt ? Overwritten code? Undocu

menied .. feature ., in the oftware you're linking to? And to lop it off. your program i loo big. The oftwarc debugger our pro ram and it's symbol table can't fit into memory at


the ame time. Opening a bicycle hop suddenly isn't uch a

Look at it thi way. ine of the top-ten software products in

bad idea.

any given category were created by Atron cu tomcr _Maybe their ed e i - a good night'. leep.
CaJI and get you.r free, 56-page bugbu ting bible today.

Announcing the 386 PROBET\I Bugbu ·1er.*from Atron. ine

And if you' re in the middle

of a nightmare right now,

of th top-ten softwue developer sleep better at night

give u a purchase order

because of Alron hardware-as. i t d debugger . Becau they can et real-time breakpoint which in tantly detect memory read and writes.

number. We'll FEDEX you a weet dream .

Now. with the 6 PROBE. you have the capability to et a

qualified breakpoim. o the breakpoint triggers only if the

event · ar coming from the wrong procedures. So you don't have to be halted b breakpoints from legitimate areas. You · can even detect ob cure, equen e-dependent problem by topping a breakpoint only after a pedfic chain of ev nts has occurred in a pecific order.

A divi ion of onhwe t Instrument System , Inc. Saratoga Office enter · 12 50 Saratoga Avenue Saratoga. 95070 · Call 4081253-5933 today.

· \ "''""' k.- C MPAQ. · · olld e<>mp.111~ Capir@I 1'1117 b Awn 81> !'ROH ,. 1 ltldc:maik ~ l\UOfl Coll .W·~·8SS 8 1n oh< K >nd 4U · S-l!Ol!O 1n V.'C<1 Gmnm


Circh 22 a11 lllotllr S.rrlu OW


From MS-DOS to Apple and Back
wo microprocessors in
 ide the IBM XT-c-0mpat ible WPC Bridge allow it to run {without rebooting) MS DOS as well as "proprietary Apple-booting software," ac cording 10 the company. The boards connect to the IBM floppy disk drive oontroller and then to the monitor and serial and parallel ports . You can also load FP BASIC from Apple DOS 3.3 for bener compatibi.l ity.
Inside the machi ne, there's a 16-bit 8088 micropro cessor that runs at 4.77 MHz for normal operation or al 8 MHz for faster operations, and a 65C02 microprocessor for 1-MHz Apple DOS oper ation. All you do is hit Alt Esc to go back and forth be tween MS-DOS and Apple software programs. The sys tem BIOS is from Up To Date Technology.
Memory in DOS mode is 5L2K bytes, expandable to 768K bytes, while memory in the Apple mode is 128K bytes for the main and auxiliary banks and 16K bytes for the Apple language card. Resolu tion in the DOS mode is 640 by 400 pixels; Apple-mode reso lution is 720 by 360 pixels.
Two internal 360K-byte 5 \.4-inch half-height floppy disk drives come standard a.nd operate off the two motherboards for Apple and IBM PC compatibility. On the IBM side, there are three full-length expansion slots and a clock/calendar. Both sides support an RS-232C serial port, a parallel printer port , and CGA capabilities.
An opt.ion on the IBM PC side is a 20~megabyte 3 lh-inch

device-interface (ESDI) hard 
 di k drive, one serial pon, and 
 one parallel port . Tbe Model 
 300 has a 300-megabyte ESDI 
 bard disk drive with a 
 Price: $9499 for Model 150; 
 $12 ,499 for Model 300. 
 Contact: Advanced Logic 
 Research, Inc ., LO Chrysler, 
 Irvine, CA 92718 , (7 14) 
 Inqu.iry 752. 

WPC Bridges offer a choice ofMS· DOS and Apple DOS.

L ittle features that pro
 mote using Hert.z Com

hard disk drive that requires

monochrome monitor come 
 puter's new 25-MHz ma

one of the full-length expan

standard . 

chine as a file server include 

sion slots. There's a slot on

Price: $1695. 

two cooling fans and possible 

the Apple side for an optional Contact: Cordata Technol

hookup without floppy disk 

Apple drive; there's also an

ogies, Inc ., 10:SS West Victoria 
 drives, keyboards, or moni

optional 8087 math copro

St. , Compton, CA 90220, 

tors, according to the 

cessor. An AT-compatible

(2 13) 603-2901.


keyboard and a built-in 12-inch Inquiry 751.

Three standard versions

include the big features as

well . System 25170 has a

25-MHz Machines with Zip!

caching memory between 1he ceatral processor and the

zero-wait-state 64K-byte cache with 2 megabytes of 32-bit RAM that's ellpandable to 24

majn memory; direct memory megabytes. There's a 1.2

W ith company ratings of access (DMA) caching of 27 percent better perfor RAM 1/0 ; byte, word, or

megabyte floppy disk drive , a 72-megabyte hard disk drive ,

mance than Compaq's Desk

doubleword caching; posted

and support for all types of

pro 386/20, Advanced Logic write-through on aH accesses, 5 1A- and 31h-inch drives. A

Research introduced the

including bytes; and back

VGA controller is standard.

FlexCache 25386, a 25-MHz, ground refresh cycles. Such a

Eight expansion slots in

zero-wait-state machine. It's caching system makes the

clude two 32-bit, five 16-bit,

based on a proprietary ex

main memory 80 percent faster and one 8-bit- There are two

tended-emulation 82385

than the Compaq Deskpro,

serial ports and one parallel

cache system , which the com the company claims.

port, and the system can run

pany claims is an enhance

The Model l50 comes

anything from MS-DOS to

ment of the Intel 82385 form standard with 80387 support, OS/2 to UnillfXenix.

of caching.

1 megabyte of main memory,

Enhanced syst.ems have

This proprietary caching

ooe 1.2-megabyte 5\.4-i nch

150- (System 25/ 150) and 320

system is enhanced by a 64K floppy disk drive, one 150

(System 25/320) megabyte

byte, 25-nanosecond RAM-

megabyte enhanced- mall-

hard disk drives.

SEND US YOUR NEW PRODUCT RELEASE We'd like to con.sider your product for publication. Send us full information, including its price, ship date , and an address and
telephone number where readers can getf unher information. Send
to New Products Editor, BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane , Peter borough, NH 03458. lnformarion contain.ed in these items is based on manufacturers' wriuen statements and/or telephone in1erviews with BYTE reporters. BYTE has notformally reviewed each product

Price: $11 ,995 for System 25170; $13,995 for System 25/ 150; $15,995 for Sy tern 25/320. Contact: Herl.Z Computer Corp., 325 Fifth Ave., New York, Y 10016, (212) 684-4141. Inquiry 753.

mentioned. These items, along with additional new product


announcements, are posted regularly on B/X in the microbytes.sw

and microbytes.hw conferences.



Tallgrass Drives into the PS/2

C hanging one module in the 40-megabyte tape backup system from Tall grass Technologies upgrades the AT- and XT-compatible TG-1140 floppy disk drive to work at the fa ter AT and PS/2 floppy controller speed of 2.4 megabytes per minute.
You can also buy that tiny replacement module that' compatible with lhe 1.2 megabyte-per-rninute XT-con troller speed and put it into the PS/2 floppy di k drive and have a PC-compatible drive. Replacing either module takes about a minute , and you won't need any special tools .
There's also an eoonomi cal 2-megabyte-per-minute tape backup subsy tern in this QIC series of products that comes in Macintosh and higher storage model .
A special feature allows you to locate individual files on the tape in 20 seconds or !es . Other features i.nclude automatic backup, Novell/ 3Com and Unix/Xenix com patibilities, and data sharing with other QJC-40 systems. Fi nally, tapes with 60-mega byte capacities, which wiJI be avaiJable soon, will be com patible with the TG-1140. Price: $495 for an internal PC , PS/2, or compatible; ex ternal cabinetry , $179; re placement module, $79 each. Contact: Tallgra Technol ogies Corp. 11100 West 82nd St. , Lenexa, KS 66214, (913)
492-(i()()2 .
lnquJry 756.
Clearer Than Night and Day
B eyond a.II-black and all wh ite picture elements is the gray- cale level of graph-

Tallgrass PS/2, AT, or XT tape backup drives.

ic-<juality that Cornerstone Technology a hieves with it DualPage display.
The company 's ne\\o-est monitor sy tern, which in· eludes a custom controller, features 4 or 16 levels of gray scale. You can also view two pages simuJtaneously; with a 19-inch screen , the two split pages come out about 30 per cent smaller than actual paper size.
The board fits into a single expansion slot on an IBM XT, AT, PS/2 Model 30, or com patible. When you couple it with Cornerstone Technol ogy's proprietary fonts, the package is compatible with Po !Script. Times Roman, Helvetica , Courier, and Sym bol fonts are avai.lable.
With a standard Hercules graphics adapter in the mono chrome graphics mode, you

get a resolution of 720 by 348 pi1lels. With the enhanced , 16-gray-level adapter (which piggybacks the standard card), resolution is enhanced to 1600 by 1280 pixels .
Refresh rate is 67-H.: non interlaced, video bandwidth is 200 MHz, and a cript-driveo diagoo tic program is in cluded. Microsystems' eWS and Microsoft 's Xenix are up ported. Optional drivers for desktop publishing include Ventura Publisher, Auto CAD, AutoShade, Publisher' s Paintbrush , and PageMaker.
Al o available i a single page display system, which features 768- by 1008-pixel resolution with a 15-inch por trait screen. Pric~: $2395 for 4-gray-level system; $2795 for 16-level sys tem; $999 for single-page system .

Moniterm Conquers with the Viking

An on-board copro ce sor aJlows the 24 inch Viking 2400 monitor to speed up certain functions a.nd simply kip others, like slope adjustments, accord ing to the manufacturer , Monitenn.
It's the Hitacb1 HD63484 ACRTC that does the work for this giant AT- and PS/2 compatible monitor witb a resolution of 1280 by 960 pixels, refreshed at 66 Hz. The 24-ioch display and the

ooproces50r are specifically 

designed to accelerate Auto
 CAD and VersaCAD. Sever
 al operating platforms are 
 supported, including Micro
 Soft Windows, DRI's GEM, 
 GSS , Media Cybernetics ' 
 Dr. HALO , and Lotus 
 Price: $2995 . 

Contact: Moniterm. Corp., 
 5740Grcen Circle Dr. , Min
 netonka, MN 55343, (612) 

Contact: Cornerstone Tech
 nology, 1883 Ringwood Ave., 
 San Jose, CA 951 3 1, (408) 
 Inquiry 757. 

Printer Races at
600 cps
Adot-matrix color printer that prints in draft mode at 600 characters per second was i.ntroduced by Honeywell Bull Italia. That' fa ter than mo t laser printer .
The new 4/68 color printer can also print up 10 150 cp in letter-quality mode. The rea son for such speed, the com· pany says, is a special l 8·pin print head with two 9-pin ver tical arrays. During draft printing , the two arrays are lined up and allow each char acter to be printed in halfthe time. In letter-qual ity mode, one of the arrays is staggere.d with respect to the other to produce a higher-quality character.
The paper-feed mecha ni mallow you to print both single-sheet and fanfold paper interchangeably. If you press a front-panel button, the 4/68 automaticalJy retracts the fanfold paper and allows you to insert a single sheet of paper through a slot in the front of the printer. Pressing another button resets the fan· fold paper.
Paper-handling features al low the 4/68 to handle for mats from 4~ to I7 inche wide, from 4 to 24 inches long, and up to C-size portraits. It can accommodate up to five carbon copies and has a park ing feature and bottom feed . Price: $2450. Contact: Honeywell Bull Italia, 120 Howard St. , Suire 800, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 974-4340. Inquiry 762.



'\Ourpad orours? 

If you perform ,.-·········11!!1111~ lexl anywhere to

calculations, the answer

support your work,

is obvious.

and see and record

MalhCAD 2.0.

every step. You can

It's everything

try an unlimited

you appreciate about

number of what-ifs.

working on a scratch·

And print your

pad- imple, free-form

entire calculation as

math-and more. fore

an inlegrated docu

speed. More accuracy.

ment that anyone

More nexibilily.

can understand.

Just define your

Plus, MathCAD

variables and enter your

i loaded with powerful

formulas anywhere on the screen. MathCAD buill-in features. In addition to the usual trig·

formals your equations as they're typed.

onomelric and exponential fu nctions, ii

lnslantly calculales the results. And displays

includes built-in stalistical funclions, cubic

them exactly as you're used to seeing them - splines. Fourier transforms, and more. It also

in real math notation, as numbers, tables

handles complex numbers and un it conver

or graphs.

sions in a completely tran parent way.

MathCAD is more than an equation

Yet, MathCAD is so easy to learn, you'll

solver. Like a scratch pad, it allows you to add be using its full power an hourafter you begin.

Requires IBM PC· or com?"Iible, 512 KB RA I. graph ico card.

""l!Sob.. 18MPC· "11esN1.,,..J ll<tl·"'"' t.lo<ru.., c:o.i-i<m



What more could you ask for? How about the new Advanced Malh Applications Pack? A$55 value, it's yours free when you purchase MathCAD between August Iand October 15,1988. The Advanced Math Pack includes a custom binder, S-Oftware and documentation for 16 advanced applications such as: · Runge-Kutta Solution of First Order
Differential Equation · Solutionol Second-Order Differential Equation · Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors of a
Symmetric Matrix · Convolution and Correlation of Sequences · Convolutions using F'rf's · And many more!
If you're tired of doing calculalions by hand or writing and debugging programs, come on over to MalhCAD.
for more information contact your local dealer or call 1-800-MATHCAD, ext. 2775
OnMA: 617-577-1014 ex!. 2775).
Math CAD®

© lll!l!- ln<.
Circle 161 on Reader Service Card

MalhSaft, In<., Olle K~11dall Sq.. Cambrld~ . MA 02139

 A DD - I 

MFLOPS for Less

Afloating-point array processor card for IBM PC XT-compatible computers promises to deliver from 8 to 25 million floating-point oper ations per second (MFLOPS) for under $100 per MFLOP. That mean it speeds up some (but not all) computa tionally intensive applica tions, like sdentific comput ing, from hours to minutes, according to the company.
The half-length card i
based on AT&T's DSP32 for theXT, a single pnx:essing chip with a floating-point digi tal signal processor. The DSP32-PC has 32K bytes of zero-wait-stale static RAM . There 's an upgrade available to I 28K bytes of static RAM . Also available is a development ystem, including lhe board, an as embler, a window-based emulator, a math library, and demonstration programs.
In company benchmarks , a 1024-poim complex fat Fourier transform wa exe cuted in 3 .25 microseconds (JLs). A finite impul e respon e was executed in 80 nanosec
ond per TAP, and a 3 by 3 matrix multiplication was

The DSP32-PC reduces scientific computing to minuies.

completed in 2.2µ.s . AC compiler will include
a math library. The DSP32C, an AT board with upgrade and development system, may be available as soon as Octo ber, when AT&T ships the AT version of lhe chip. Price: $745 for XT board; $50 for upgrade; $995 for de
velopment system (including the board); the DSP32C ver sion of !he board will be under $1500. Contact: Communication Automation & Control, 1642 Union Blvd ., Suite 0, Allentown , PA 18!03, (21 5) 776-6669. Inquiry 763.

31 Users on Your AT
Up to3 1 ASCII term inals can now be connected with RS-232C cabling to AT and rompatible boards from UhraTek for distributed computing, based on Alloy Computer's T X operating sys te m.
RS-232C cabling means 19.2K-bps transmi ion, and Alloy Computer's operati ng system means one Multi-Mas ter board per terminal. Each board has an 8088 micropro cessor and 512K bytes of

Putting'on the Bits
A n on-board BIOS sup porting more than 60 hard disk drive types is stan da'rd with high-end floppy and bard disk controllers from Perstor Systems. De igned for use in 16-bit ex pansion lots of 80286 or 80386 AT-(.()mpatible com puters, the controllers oper ate at 9 and 10 megabits per econd.
Unlike tandard Macin tosh File System (MFM) and run-length-limited (RLL) controllers that support 17 and 26 sectors per track, the Perstor controllers use a pro-

prietary disk interface to in crease the number ofsector per track to 31 . SO models PS180- 16F and PSl80 16FHP, which are MFM and RLL-compatible, are rated to increase hard disk capacity by 90 percent. Model PS200-16F (only RLL-compatible) is rated to increase hard disk capacity by 100 percent. Each con trolJer can manage two hard disks and two floppy djsks, in any combination from 360K-byte to l .44-megabyte capacities in either 31h· or 514-inch formats .

The PSl80-16FHP's ad vaJJ1.age over lhe PS l 80- l6F i its resident BIOS cache, which runs in any combina tion of normal internal mem ory, Lotus/ Intel/ Microsoft Expanded Memory Specifi cation (LIMJEMS) memory, or AT extended memory. Price: $345 for the PS I80 l 6F; $375 for the PSl80 16FHP; $365 for the PS200 l 6F. Contact: Perstor Sy terns, Inc., 7631 East Greenway Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260, (602) 991-5451. Inquiry 766.

RAM (upgradable to 1.2 
 megabytes). You'll need a.n 
 expansion chassis if you want 
 lo use more t.erminals than 
 you have slots in your AT. 
 Price: $695 . 
 Contact: UhraTek, 400 Wal· 
 out, Suite 335, Redwood City, 
 CA 94063 , (4 15) 364-1060. 
 Inquiry 765. 

Transform Your AT
into a Multiuser Master
0 ne full-length AT-com patible card, an interface box, a monitor , and a key
board are now a11 you need 10 compute as far a 200 feet
away from your host AT . The AT needs only full-length slots and a hard disk drive.
Add eight more cards, in terface boxes, monitors, and keyboards. and you'll have the maximum number of pro ces ing stations-each with a
serial and parallel port for
modem and printer that can be shared by all the other sta tions on the network.
Each card has its own 80286, and 512K bytes of RAM running on ODOS, a DOS-compatible mulliu er op erating system.
Two cards are offered: The 0-286H gives the stations Hercules graphics capabili ties and monitor resolution up to 720 by 348 pixels; the 0 286E hasCGA, MGA , and EGA graphic capabilities for monitor resolution of 640 by 200, 720 by 348, or 64-0 by 400 pixel , respectively. Price: Sl295 for0-286H; $1495 for 0 -286E. Contact: Our Busines Ma chines, Inc., 12901 Ramona Blvd., SuiteJ, Irwindale, CA 91706, (800) 433-1435; in California, (818) 337-%14. Inquiry 764.


Get Sprint and you'll never 
 be afraid ofthe dark! 

Nothjng holds a candle to Sprint!

Featu res
· == y o~No

SprlnL WordPerfect .fS Word WordStar Multi Mate




4.0 Adv. LO

Maximum fJl size Thesaurus (integrated)

·DI k


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Windows Open (maximum)






Files Open (maxi mum) Cross-Rererence (dynamic)


2 0





1 0

Indexing OpLions Columns: Pa rallel
Snaking (chg. " same page)
H-P La rJ l Suppart


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PostScri pt Support Mouse Support (integrated)
Dynamic Shortcu!S Alt.ernativ User lnt.erraces Verify Spellin{l a you type Programmable Macro la ng.


Text 0 0 0 0 0

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$199.95 $495.00 $450.00 $495.00 $565.00

11111<-. ......., porlonned 00 on .'al' 200 (8 MHz). &!OK RAM . '1110 SI"" 103K. 21636 llMI. 2H OO)UITC~ limes"'"""' re In !IO:<ll>lh.

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Cildt :U on /Uadtl' Su11ict Card (DEALERS: 35)

F orgetting to " ave" i a fact of life as are power outages. and it used to be that a power outage cou ld wipe out everything you've done. ot any more. Your work is always safe when you Sprint.
Sprint's "Auto-Save" auto matically saves your words as you type. so if the lights do go out. you may be in deep dark ness but not deep trouble.
Sprint's Auto-Save is more than "in urance," it's also invisibl e. You know it's there. but it do s its job without interrupting yours .
Sprint: It's the word processor with everything!
You name it, Sprint's got it. Incredible speed. Auto-Save, a customizable user interface. and profes ional output. Sprint even includes a bonus pack of alter native user inter faces that make it act like WordStar.* MultiMate. WordPerrect.· Microsoft· Word . or other familiar word proces sors-a $99 value free ~
Sprint has all th is and does all this for only $199.95 instead of the up to $600 that some compani es demand. Sprint auto matically saves your words: it also automatically saves your money. Sprint- The fast track to performance word processing.
60- Day Money-tlack Guarantee·
For th e dealer nearest you Call (800) 543-7543
SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 71


Ethernet Meets Mac with SCSI

B esides becoming the floppy and hard disk con
troller imerface of choice for both Apple and PS/2 system ,
the SCSI has now become a po sible local-area-networking
port for indu try-standard
10-megabit-per- econd Ether net connectivity.
Adaptec has introduced
the Nodem, which uses the SCSI port of Apple com puters this way. That mean the Nodem, in the form of a 5- by 8- by 2-inch peripheral, can automatically enhance t.he 1ran mission rate between Apple machine 40-fold over
what was previou ly pos ible
with the 230K-bit-per- econd LocalTalk cabling system,

SCSI Nodem enhances AppleTalk.

while retaining Apple' con· nectivity operating software, AppleTalk.
Another advantage is that the Nodem doesn't use any in
ternal lots, so you can share
information more easily among the Mac Plu (which has no slots), the Mac SE (which has

one slot), and the Mac II (which has five lots).
Up to eight different de vices can daisy chain on the SCSI bus for connectivity with the three mo t popular Ethernet transmission media-coaxial, thin coaxial (Cheapemet), and twisted-

Voice and Data Travel Together on the Twisted Pair

T wo machines compat ible with AT&T and Sie mens Integrated Services Digital Network (ISON) in terfaces are now available
from International Com
put.ers Ltd. (ICL), a subsid
iary ofS1andard Telephones and Cables PLC Group.
Both ofthe AT-compatible
machines allow transmis
ion on two 64K-bit-per-sec ond ISON B channels and
one 16K-bit-per- econd ISON D channel (but only if
you re one of the small but
growing number of tele
phone company customers
erved by an ISON central
office swilcb). The machines could be
looked at as two luxury tele~ phone/computer hybrids . The telephone includes more bell and wbi tles than the average business executive's telephone, and the manufac turer claims the 80386 ver sion is faster than Compaq's 386/20.
The Model PWS 20 is an

8-MHz, zero-wait-state ma chine based on Intel's 80286 microprocessor. II comes with a 40-megabyte hard disk drive, a 720K-byte 5 \4 inch floppy disk drive, and six 16-bit and two 8-bit ex
pansion lots. Peripherals include an ISON telephone, an EGA color monitor, and
an AT-style keyboard. The
Model PWS 386 has the
ame featuxes, plu an Intel 80386 that run at 20 MHz
with no wait states. Both models include MS
DOS 4 . 1., a multitasking Microsoft-designed DOS witha640K-byteRAMlimit per task. MS-DOS 4 .1, which was designed e,arLier this year for ICL and to date has been sold only in the U.K., includes multitasking that ICL has used to provide t.elephone status on the com puter screen's bottom four
lines. A single-slot add-in board
with a proprietary SIT inter face is used to connect the

computer and telephone to your local central office over standard telephone wiring. That connection, with stan dard RJ-45 connectors, will handle th.e three channels to taling the 144K-bit-per-sec ond transmi ioo rate.
Several ISON features in clude auto-answering; di rectory-, peed-, and rccent call dialing; and a statu display ofincoming and out goi ng call information . The system includes several non ISDN connectivity feature as well, including V.120rate adaption software and X.25
packet assembler/di a · sembler support over one clear 64K-bit-per-second B
channel . Price: $8000 for PWS 20; SI0,000 for PWS 386. Contact: International Computers Ltd., Inc., Net work Systems- ISON
Group, 777 Long Ridge Rd.,
Stamford, CT 06902, (203)
968-7222. l nquiry767.

pair copper. The odem archi 1ecture is based on Adaptec' IJO controller IC , rather than tradi tional Ethe.met chip ets . And while Macintosh system disks are available now, I.he company says IBM-<:ompatible system disks should be avail able next year. Price: $545 for coaxial; $595 for Cheapemet or twisted pair. Contact: Adaptec, Inc ., 691 South Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas ,
CA 95035, (408) 945-2520. Inquiry 768.
Hook up Your Network Through the AC Lines
P owerLink is a network ing system that links any
two IBM PCs or Apple Mac
into hes and their printers through your building's exist ing power lines. And, accord ing to its maker, you ' ll soon be able 10 expand it to intercon nect up to eight systems.
The system tran fers data through your computer's serial port at 19.2K bits per sec ond. You simply plug the net work device imo the neare 1
wall outlet and you' re con
nected to the Link network. The only limitation is that de vices mu t be oo Lhe same side of a power transformer, but thi is usually no problem if they ' re in the same building.
The Link hardware i pro vided either a an add-in card for the IBM PC and compat ible or as an external 10-inch box for erial port connecti.ons . Price: $495 for the external unit; $395 for the add-in card; Manylink software for two PCs , $165 ; ManyLink for up to eight PCs, $395. Contact: Netline , Inc., 85 West Center St., P.O. Box 3000, Provo, UT 84603 , (801) 373-6000. Inquiry 769.

72 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

The easy way to move files between the 5 14" world ofPCs, and the 
 3 1/i" world ofPS/2s, Laptops, and 386s: Sysgen's Bridge family. 

B cause your PC PS/2s 386 sand
laptop all talk to different floppy di k sizes and fom1ats they can become fru trating islands of informat.ioa.
or the simplest way to get files back and fonh just install Sysgen's Bridge products. Presto: Your different com puters talk to common djskeltes.
Sysgen pioneered bridges. ow here are three way to implify your Life in a multi-computer office.
Solution I: Our Bridge-File 5.25 Ooppy disk drive.
be: t seller, with over 50,000 in taIJed. Attach it to your PS/2, and you can read and write fiJes from PCs. Critics and u ers alike have raved

about its mall footprint ease of use and dual den ity capacity of360Kb and l.2Mb. (IBM drive i twice the ize, yet tore on ly one-founh the data.)
Every PS/2 u er de erves easy connection to the world of PCs.
Solution 2: Our Bridge-File 3.5 Ooppy disk drive.
You get 720Kb and L44Mb capacities. Connect it to any PC and you can read and write files from PS/2s, 386s, laptop and other 3112" machine . 

Now aJI your PCs can share file. 
 ' ith your newer y tems. 

Tnidcm. a S)'Sl!en. Bridge.file. Omni· Bridgc-S1 n Inc.: PSn-1n1e1111:niorul Business Machines O>IJ)orolion.
Resislered Tuilema · IBM-International flilsiricss achincs Corporation. Circ;le 266 <>n Reader &rv~e Canl

And here's the ideal co.ntroUer: 
 The Omni·Bridge 

Control up to four drives o you can mix and match 51/1'', 3!1:!" and floppy tape drive as you need. This hot card gives you bigstorage, plu twice the floppy disk and floppy tape transfer performance rates! At only $95, th is is a winner.

Get our computers talking.
can the Sysgen Hotline for the
name of your nearest dealer.




556 Gibraltar Drive, Milpitas C 95035
SEPTEMBER 19&8 · B YT E 73

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Micro Channel on a Chip
I fyou'redesigningadd-in cards for the Micro Chan nel, One Chip Plus can make your job easier. It's a full fledged design system that's built around a chip.
One Chip Plus contain the decoding and logic functions to simplify the design of memory, l/O, and multifunc tion adapter cards for PS/2 machines. It includes pro grammable decoding for ex tended memory, expanded memory, multiple l/O ports, and ROM. It also supports Micro Channel OMA arbiLra tion and burst-mode DMA. Programmable memory and l/O timing mat h slow and fast devices and can connect di rectJy to ingle- and dual in-line memory modules.
A software kit include a
LIM/EMS 4.0 memory driver. A proprietary design lets you program the Micro Channel ID number rather than designing it into the hardware after being designated the number by IBM-a process that has been known to hold up the design phase.
The company's Acquisi tion Engine, which provides high-level programming commands for background and foreground data acquisition and UO control in the form of a 5 Yi-inch floppy di k, elimi nates the need for addiliona.l programming and hardware, the company says. The acqui i tion engine subsequenlly ac cepts oftware module that in terface to any 1/0 function. Price: $34 for One Chip
Plus; $995 for a combined 110
and memory package; $349 for the Acqui ition Engine; $95 for the Application Guide. Contact: Capital Equipment
Corp., 99 South Bedford St.,
Burlington, MA 01803, (800) 234-4232; in Massachu setts, (617) 273- 1818. Inquiry 770.


Capital Equipment's MCA design system.

Disk Duplicators Multiply
While the floppy and hard di k duplicating compan ies have thus far con centrated on hardware for soft ware developers, one duplica tor company is offering less expensive products for companies with volatile, volu minous databases.
The new Datapath Tech nologies' Copy Manager c,an copy up to four 3Yz-ioch or 5 \4-inch disk -or any combi nation-all at,once.
The Copy Manager re quires one full-length PC lot per four disks and acts as a peripheral. There' also a du plicator expansion unit that allows another four disks to be copied at one time, bringing the total to eight disks that you can copy at once, in any c.on figuration. The Copy Manager copies 480 copie. per hou.r in its fastest configuration.
The Model 1042 Copy
Manager comes in a low-end
configuration to copy four 360K-byte 5 1A-inch disks. On the high end , the Model 1040 copies up to four of any combi nation of 3 Yi- or 5 1.4-inch

disks. The Model !052 ex pands any of the six Datapath four~opy versions by four 360K-byte 5 \4-inch drives. The Model 1050 expand any of the four-copy version by four drives of any configura· lion- both expansions in crease total copying abi lity to eight disks simultaneously. Price: $1995 for Model 1042; $2250 for Model 1040; $1395 for Model 1052; $1650 for Model 1050. Contact: Datapath Technol ogies, Inc., 46710 Fremont
Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538,
(415) 651-5580. lnqulry771.
Throw Your Typing Skills into the Trash
A peripheral on which to write and store handwrit ten information allows those who haven t mastered the art of typing to have the same computer literacy as others, according to the manu facturer .
PenWriter can translate printed handwriting and hand drawings into ASCII and works with all IBM com patibles.
The peripheral is a 640- by
400-pixel backlit liquid crystal

or plasma display. Accuracy with the stylus is rated at better than0.0 15 inche. Four op erating modes are available: stream, switched stream, point, and incremental.
Pric.e: $1895 with LCD;
$2895 with plasma display. Contad: Scriptel Corp., 4145 Arlingate Plaza, Columbus, OH 43228, (614) 276-8402 . Inquiry 772.
Storage Betters Board Testing
D igital EGA storage of sine waves gleaned from IC boards allows technicians and engineers to more quickly test board components and circuitry, thanks to the analog signature analysis tool from Huntron Instruments.
The 5100DS allow you to send a current-limited sine wave voltage signal acros two points of an add-in board, tore !he sine-wave traces, and then go through other boards to verify components and circuitry with an EGA graphics display of the pro duce-0 sine waves. A trained eye can notice leakage and backflow problems, the com pany says, allowing trouble shooting of all but gate-control devices.
You need an 80286 or 80386 machine, DOS ver ion 3.0 or higher, 640K of RAM, a 3'h- or 5 1A-inch flop py disk drive, a 10-megabyte hard disk drive, an EGA card, an EGA monitor, and a par allel printer port. Price: $9500 without control ler or computer; $14,000 for an entire system. Contact : Huntron Instru ments Inc., 15720 Mill Creek Blvd. , Mill Creek , WA 98012, (800) 426-9265; in Washington, (206) 743-3171. Inquir y 773.

76 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

111 fI \\ ILI. ifRU.

W1i1 fo r .\!,hron· Tate ro get their
QL acr rogc1hcr
In r.he mr:m1ime. just it hen: and w:uch the ORACLE pl:irer pass you by Or order Prof~ionaJ
ORACLE rodJ)'. Tile 199 price expire on .Xptember )fllh.

Gives Your PC

" OR.1iCLE's top guns make dBASE look like{/ peosJXXJll!r. "
Oaia Based Ad.,,sor June 1"188
6' /f ii is11 '1i11 ORACLE, ii probably is11 't i11 a11ytbi11g else, Mil~-. For readers 1t'i10 u'tllll it all, tbis is 1be pro<lua to /my."
Soltware 0 gesl. Sep:ernber 1987

6' Professio11al ORACLE is /be program of cboiai for rbose 11'bo wa11/ sopbislicated fon11.s. reports. a11d QL capabilities u·itbout bai:ing to program e.'11'11Si1 'f~)' "
Sollware Dooest Aat ngs Aeoo<l Advanced A'e1a1oona1 Oa1aoase
Pr 091ams, Seplembe· 1987

6' A rolmst, fr1/lblo1m mainframe dala/xise tbal 1iill nm 011 a micro ORACLE will cnmcb data 11111il;our eye; roll bac.k in) 11r bet/fJ_"
ln1ov.o0rld , Apr l 1988

" Well co1istrucred and pou-erfr1I, Professio110/ ORACLE is a11 e.u::l'/11?111 c})oice for.. application de1:elopers. ..
W.mer. Ed11or s Cr.o.ce. PC Magazone. Ma 1988

6' ...pro1'ide(s) applimtions dl!lelopers u·itb 1111/imited fJ()ll'eY
Security prvl'idlXI by /ORACLE} 011 rbe si11gle-1iser PC is as extl!ILSh-e as it is 011 the largt!)t mamframe. ··
PC Tedi Journal December 987

The cxpc:n J ret When you buy !he ORA LE d:uabase for your PC. )'OU acqui re se\1eral important ORA LE monopolies.. OMP rnm rTY: ORACLE as QL, compatible wi1h IBM DB2 and QLID . PORTABll.J TY: Ii' the onlv RDB~! 1ha1run on rnainfr.ime . mini. and PCs.
N E ABILITY: II ' ne'1work ready with !ht unrivalled ability IO make differem d:11abases on different machines  mainframes, minis and micros  appear to be one database on one machine. FinaJJr. PRJ ·E: Tens of thou sands of copic of ORACLE for the PC ha\'e sold for S129· Bui uniii
ptember 0th, 19 you can see what made Or.icle Corporation the world' largest d:nabase companr. and what h the cxpc:rt excited.
Pass GO md collect Professional ORACLE for only 199." Or go to JAIL with some really old technology.

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SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 77


Testing Embedded Software
A rcbimedes calls il the first microcontroller sim ulalor with a C source-level debugger. SimCASE is a win dow-based program thal allows you to create software prototypes withoul any target hardware. It debug C pro grams at the source level and locates bottlenecks in your code. The simulator consists of the Simulator Engine, the C
& A Assembler Source De·
bugger, the Performance Analysi.s Tool, and the Input Stimulus Generator.
The Simulator Engine sim ulates the microoontroller on lhe computer, including the in truction set, the interrupt
handling system, and all 1/0
port . The Sourc.e Debugger gives you the option of sym bolic and source debugging on the C or assembly level. It in· eludes tools like trace, code and data examinations, step, and breakpoints.

C Is for Database Management

SimCASE displ.ays and debugs microconrrol/er code.

The Perfonnance Analysis Tool tes~ your design ideas by giving you the execution times of every block and line of code and helps you identify bottlenecks in the design.
You can graphically display the execution profile of a program with the Perfor
mance Analysis Tool. The In
put Stimulus Generator takes a disk file you've created that
contains a stream of input signals and tests the program for response to external stim· uli . Once your code is tested

with SimCASE, you can download it to EPROM or to an emulator for final testing.
The kit is available for the 8-bit Intel 8051 family. It runs on the IBM PC, XT, AT, and compatibles with at least 640K ~of RAM aIXi DOS 2.1 or higher. It also requires an Atchi
c mede$ cross-compiler kit.
Price: $895. Contact: Archimedes Soft·
ware, Inc., 2159 Union St., San Francisco, CA 94123, (4 15) 567-4010. lnqnlry 779.

C ode Base is a C library that uses the same nam ing conventions as dBASE and is compatible with dBASE lil Plus. You can operate
Code Base as a multiuser pro
gram on a network file server, with record a11d file locking.
According to Sequiter Software, there are 93 external Code Base routines orga nfaed imo 9 modules. The pro gram indexes three times faster than dBASE Ill Plus,
Sk1p 100 i 100 times faster, and it executes Do \lhile loops 1000 times, Sequjter reports.
To run Code Base you need Turbo C, Quick C, or Microsoft C 5.0 or 5.1.
Price: Sl49 (includes source
code) . Contact: Sequiter Software,
lac. , P.O. Box 5659, Station L, Edmonton, Alber ta, Can ada T6C 4G I, (4-03 ) 439-8171. Inquiry 774.

Develop Al Applications Under OS/2
P roduction Systems Tech· nologies reports that
OPS83 was the first language
to integrate procedural and rule-based programming.
ow the company has intro duced OPS83 for OS/2, en abling you to develop larger artificial-intelligence appli· cations in protected mode. Ap· plications under 0Sf2 can have at least 32 times as many rules or data items as appli cation under MS-DOS, ac cording to Production Sys tems Technologies.
OPS83 has a Pascal-like syntax. It supports separate compilation for program de velopment efficiency and stan

dard subroutine linkages that allow you to interface with olher languages . The devel opment environment is coded in C and assembly language. It requires the Microsoft C Compiler and an IBM PC or

compatible running 0Sf2. 
 Price: $2950. 
 Contact: Production Systems 
 Technologies, 5001 Baum 
 Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, 
 (412) 683-4000. Inquiry 776.

Programming from a Menu

With the introduction of EngLan, computer programming is simplified
to the point of choosing functions fromamenu. Gen
try Software reports that de· bugging is limited to re movinglogicerrors, because the code you choose is already written. Each time
you choose a new command, it is displayed at the bottom of th.e screen, and you can
make changes using the

view/change submenu . The program is designed
for small-business and gen eral-application programs. It runs on the IBM PC and
compatibles with 256K bytes ofRAM. Price: $49.95.
Contact: Gentry Software, P .O. Box 4485, Springfield, 

MO 65808, (800) 346-9475; 
 in Missouri, (800) 634 8439. 
 Inquiry 775. 

Modula-2 for OS/2
0 perating in what Logi· tech calls "dual mode," its OS/2 version of Modula-2 lets you port applications be· tween DOS and OS/2 , as well as develop applications that run under real and protecled mode.
Included in Modula-OS/2 is Logitech's text editor. It fea tures multiple windows and menus along with a custorniz· able user interface. The OS/2 version of the editor lets you use it with or without a mouse and compile in the background or foreground . Price: $349. Contact: Logitech, Inc., 6505 Kaiser Dr., Fremont, CA 94555 , (4 15) 795-8500. Inquiry 778.

78 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Will The
Stand Up
It's easy to identify the leader in VGA r solution-just look 
 to the compan that brought ou th fi rst 800 x 600 EGA card. 

800 x 600 VGA with 256 Colors 

1024 x 768, too. Either way, Genoa' Sup rVGA HiRe '" is 
 the best way to see VGA . And your spreadsheets will look great, 
 w ith 132 colum ns and 60 rows for our viewing pica ure. 

Crash-fr e Windows
Ye, we do Window ·-no problem. And SupcrVGA HiRc i · compatible with both the VGA PS/2 mon itors and the EGA Mu1 ti nc monitor , in VGA and EGA modes.
So don't settle for inadequate imitations. Get the highc t VGA performance at the best price, in true Genoa tradition.
For the dealer nearest ou, contact: Genoa Systems Corporation. 73 E. Trimble Road, San Jose, CA 95131 FAX: 408-434-0997 Telex: 1723 19 Telephone: 408-432-9090

Circle 111 on &adtr Service Card

Genoa Sy terns Lim ited ( .K. ) Tel: 01-720-5064
Ci 1987 Genoa ::nm.;ms Corpo ,il ion. uperVC A l~ i Rcs is ;a tradema rk of Gt.·nu;, 5,!otcm' Corp· luo \ 1ndm.,.is i~a 1rndc rnnrk uf 1kf'oSvrl , l oc. .\·t uhil!-~·nc i:!a. ~· ·mdcm1.1rkui [.C Hun~ Ek\'.'. ErunK:~.


CAD on the Mac

G eneric CADD , previ
 ously running only on the 
 PC , now runs on the Mac. 
 The Mac program offers the 
 same computer-aided draft
 ing and design capabilities , ac
 cording to Generic Software. 

You can create drawings from a set of simple objects, including points, lines, cir cles , arcs, ellipses, and B spline curves . You can draw objects in up to 256 colors, layers , and line types ; and you can move, copy , erase, or break objects, rotate them at any angle , and scale them .
The Macimosh version lets you edit multiple drawings in eparate windows imuha neou ly. You can cut and paste objects between different windows within the program and with other program u ing the PICT format .
Generic CADD Level I for the Mac i also compatible with MultiFinder. It run on the Mac II , SE, and Plus. Pri4;e: $99.50. Contact: Generic Software, Inc. , 8763 148th Ave. NE, Re<lmond , WA 98052, (206) 885 -5307 . In quir y 784.
High6 Speed Simu lation
D SIM , an evenr-driven, interactive , mixed-level simulator that suppor switch- and gate-level imula
tion , now runs under OS/2 .
You can use the program for di gital simulation and it ha pecial features for MOS (metal-oxide semiconductor) circuits .
The OS/2 version of DSIM can imulate a maximum of 7000 gates using I megabyte of memory. Under DOS, using 640K bytes , it could simulate a maximum of 2500 gates . The OS/2 version supports all the

Generic CADD makes its Macintosh debut .

features available in the DOS 
 version, including switcb
 level simulation, interac1ive 
 waveform display, and tabu
 lar display functions. 
 Price: $1250 for the OS/2 
 version; $495 for the DOS 
 version . 
 Contact: Roche Systems 
 Corp. , 1705 North Rankin St., 
 Appleton, WI 54911 , (414) 
 Inquiry 782. 

Another CAM?
C AM. This time, it stands for computer-aided mathematics. CompMath 1.02 i a menu-driven ad vanced mathematics program that contain general , com plex, matrix engineeri ng,

and statistical mathematic . Under the general math
option, you can calcu.late facto rials, angular units, log-to auy-base conversion, and rec tangular/polar conversion with graphs. You can al o cal culate nth roois. The com plex math option leis you per form addition , subtraction , mulliplication , and division of complex numbers raised to real powers . You can calculate complex roots and exponents aud plot complex graphs.
The matrix math option of fers matrix inversion, add/ ub tract math, multiplication, and transposition operations.
The engineering select.ion is an introduction to engineer ing math, with polynomial, quadratic, and simultaneous equation calculations, and derivative and integration.
The statistical option on the menu lets you choo e to load nume rical data from a

keyboard or disk file and store to disk. It lets you perform basic statisticaJ mathematics and plot bar graphs or scatter graph with regression line plotting.
The program 's graph ics capabilities let you plot graphs in polar/Car tesian coordi nates and a variety of other func t io n s.
CompMath 1.02 ru ns on
the IBM PC aud compatibles with at least 256K bytes of RAM, DOS 2.0 or higher, and a CGA, EGA , or Hercules monochrome graph ic card. Prke: $49. Contact: Bsoft Software, 444 Colton Rd. , Columbus, OH 43207, (614) 491-0832. Inquiry 786.
Statistical Software
A program that performs multiple regres ion anal yses oo data set of up to 50 independent variables and any
number of observations was
announced by YakiSoft of Canada.
YREG read data from ASCH files and can be used in teractively or in batch mode . It produces the usual regres sion output , as well as pre dicted value , residuals, influ enc.e diagnostics, and a plot of residual ver u predicted values. Univariate statistics , including mean , varianc.e, min.imum, a.nd maximum , are produced for each variable .
The program run on the IBM PC and compatibles with
256K bytes of RAM . You'll need a CGA display for resid
ua l plots. Prjce: $33. Contact: Yak iSoft , P.O. Box. 41 5 l , Station C , Ottawa, On tario, Canad a KI Y 4P3, (613) 733-4563 . Jnquiry 783.

80 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Now that the best name in 
 CAD is this affordable,why
 settle forageneric brand? 

What' in a name? When it come to the

Ofcourse, ifyou do want to move up from

utode k name a lot. In fact , it' the be t

AutoSketch at some point, your files can easily

selling, most well-respected name in the CAD be uploaded into AucoCAD~

busine s. There simply is nor another company

AmoSkerch runs on IBM*PCIXT"'/AT9and 100%

with the credential to make claim.

compatible computers, and supporrs IBM' sPS/2."'

That's why you shouldn't ettle for any
thing less than AucoSketch * the best way to

So ifyou' re ready for CAD, why not go with the name that rates highest among both critics and

get caned in D. AutoSkecch is the precision users? Anythillg else is, well, second-rate.

drawing tool from the Autode k family of prod

To order AutoSkecch call 1-800-223-2521.

uces. otonly isAutoSketcb priced acju t

For the name of your nearest AutoSketch

$79. 95,· but unlike some entry-level CA prod Dealer or for more in

uces, you don't have to keep spending more co

formation, call 1-800

add the fearures AuroSketch already has. Stan

445-5415 Exe. 1 or

dard feanues like boxe , circles, screeching, mir write to AumSkecch,

roring and rotating- to mathematical precision. 2320 Marinship \Vay,

And advanced GAD capabiJjties Jjke dynamic

Sausalito, CA 94965.

P and ZOOM and automatic dimensioning and caling, in up to 10 working layers.


Cirde 23 on Reoder Strvke Card

'Aspeed"!lnhanced verBion (91mes taster). requlritlg a moth COtKocessor, isavallable kif $99.95.
AutoS~etch andAutoCAO are reg1s1e1ed 1n the U.S. Patent and TreclQmark OHica by Autodesk, loo. IBM and Persooal Coml)l.ller ATare registered lfademall<s ol 1mema11ons.J Business Machlries CorPQratton Petsooal Computer XT and PSl2 are trademarks of lnierruitional Buslness Macilfnei; Cotpotation.


575-83-4998 Gihhens - sport

48& llJ 1533 Hagen - cos.e

692-54-7311 lliun l ton - retai

~7l-1638 Jackson - retai


- spOrt


Novew'15 1988 - TUE

$44,fJl.88DH $23.28CR
$J,144 86DR $98.6311

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UserSoft/C is the 
 Business C 

UserSofi Busin ess C is the finon·
ciol C compiler thot makes sense
lo both cl ients ond progrommers. It is nol just another C compiler.
Compare the functions: UserSofl Business C is o superset of Power C, M icrosoft C ond
Turbo C. It hos over 1,000 standard
ond business development func tions. The SuperlOR component of UserSoff Business C hos the input/output features of COBOL,
yet co n read financially for
matted dote (eg. $2,109.87 CR). UserSoff Business C hos 36
ea sy-to-use matrix functions for management science (opera· tionol research ), business statis tics, fi nite element ond circuit ona lysis.

Compore the Price: ll's o fraction of whot you might expect- the complele UserSof1 Business C package is avoiloble ot lhe inlroduclory price of
$249.95 while lhe Business
Development Tool Pockoge is
available for $199.95.
"In our testing, none of your claims hove failed. It is to our odvontage to use SUPERJO SAM ond SCREEN for our research. I strongly recom mend thot oil professional pro gram developers use SUPE 011. SAM ond SCREEN for artificial in telligence, scientific, engineer ing, industrial, financial and especially business related opplicotions."
Dr Poul RSchroeder, PhD IMIT} 

Presidonl ol Moximum Srorag&, Inc.. 
 Co.. founder of INMOS US 
 Sole 01tSi9ner of Mostek 41 t6 
 Co-Designer of Mostek 4027 

Compare the Portoblity: UserSott Busi ness C supporls the latest features of sta nda rd ANSI
C. If you a lready have a C
compiler (MS-DOS, UNIX, VS, VMS, MVS, etc .) our Business Development Tool package wi ll commercial ize your compiler fo r only $199.95 lor PCs. This pack age is su itoble for IBM, Wong , Sun, VA:/- and other systems.
Compare the Documentation: The UserSoh Business C monuol provides actual programming examples for every function  over 1,000 of them.
Compare the Product:
UserSoft Business C is the cap
ability union ol C COBOL BASIC PUl +FORTRAN +
Make + SCREEN :PC version
of UNIX's curses + dotobase tools graphic tools IBM mainframe's VSAM o multiple window graphic debugger ond more.

UserSoft Business C: 
 The ultimate C 
 language for 
 business & financial 

UserSof1 Bus iness C is o new AN SI
compatible compi ler that runs foster ond easier than M icrosoft C ond hos more fu nctions lhon
Turbo C· . It cuts coding for busi
ness and finonciol appl ications
by ol least 50% - 90%.
If You're Just Beginning, 
 Usersoft Business C makes 

learning Co pleasure. 

If You're Programming In
switching to UserSoft Business C
w i ll be easier !hon you expect. UserSof1 Busi ness C retai ns lhe best of these languages while simplifying·C wilhou1 loss of any standard C features.

If You' re Programming in C, you may switch to UserSoft Business C or enhance your cur ren t compiler w ith our Business Development Tool package. This will g ive you UserSof1 Business C copobilities on most popular systems such as Microsoft C, Power C, Turbo C, UNIX C, ond Wong VS C.
UserSoft Business C: With a new state-of the art C debugger
UserSof1 Business C debugger
wi ll reduce the time you spend debugging your C programs by ot least o factor of 10. It allows you to debug graphics programs on o single mon itor.
UserSoft Business C: The World's most versatile Data Manager and Database Tool
Our Structured / Access Method (S/ AM) allows: ·unlimited lyp<1s of key (indvd1ng
9raphoc·) · un limited numben. oJ key ports · un limited' numbers of dare fields · milCing of fnced and V'Onoble lengths fot
dole fields or key port~ · dolo encryption from fil a level do.... to by1a1...,,1 · unlimi1ed dev1c9'5 for s tonng o key PQf1 or a da10 field · unhmiied 51ze for any ey part · unlimi1eod nu m~r o f tables · unl·m il~ concurren~yopen fi les · m oJC1m um pro·tKtton on doto secu11ty
SIAM is well suited for applica
tions lo Finance, honking, business, imaging, arl ificial intelligence, knowledge-based information, science, engineeer ing, simullotion and industrial control.
Business Oe~elopmenl Toot Pocl.09·

. . . . ................
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If--..... 60 do'tt or'*"~. 11w.. produc1 do.I NJt perfOI'.,,, 'rt ace~ · ._..,. ov doulll.. caff CU'~ ...r'WI<.· deooi··
INfll Oltd _., II Of l'Of'9tl o 1e4vnd

lJw6oh Plodwot Ole k~ Ol't9>tJ.ertd~ :t ~ UMr Sc $w'i'T'M L...,.1t~ C'>ltwit brand and ptOc:i

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U·erSoh Sysr·m· Limi1ed 
 5'Ji10 1!112, 409 Gronville St 
 Vancouver, BC, Conado V6C lT2 

Telephone 604/~l.8872 

P"b_ C,.o~ of Mn Soh · 

MS.-OOS. u°'°" Cu. a '"41G·~ 

trodeman ol H'..cros.a (cw-porohO'I 

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MV'S a ftCf \l'SAMaN t~\.i 
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To order Coll: 1-800/ 663 -0322 60 Day Money Bock Guoranlee Not Copy Protected
See us of Comdex 88 al the Tropicona Booth- T617
SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 83



Professional Write Adds Features
I f you' re aJ ready a Profes sional Write user, you'll find that, with version 2.0, you can now read and write to fiJes from other programs, you have a choice of many pre set fonts, there's a new fi.le finder c:tpability, and you have enhanced table-editing features .
Version 2.0 lets you inte grate database management and preadsheet data into your word-processing docu ment without converting from one fonnat to another. You can even import Lotus 1-2-3 named range and co ordinate ra.nges, and you can merge data from dBASE Ill, ASCH, or Professional Write's own address book into form letters without any conversion.
When it comes time to choose a font, you call up a menu of preset fonts , includ ing those for Hewlett-Packard LaserJet and DcskJet printers, Apple LaserWriters, and other PostScripl printers .
The file-finder capability lets you sort DOS directory listings by filename, exten sion, date, or size. If you forget the name of a fiJe, you can search for it with a string of characters that may be contained in the file.
Professional Write 2.0 .lets you man.ipulate rectangular blocks of text. It also feat ures a built-i.n five-function calcu lator that can recalculate rows of numbers.
Version 2.0 runs on the IBM PC , XT, AT, and compat ibles with at least 5 I2K bytes of RAM and DOS 2.0 or higher. Price: $ 199. Contact: Software Publish Corp., 1901 Landings Dr., P.O. Box 7210, Mountain 
 View, CA 94039, (415) 
 Inquiry 791. 

Professional Write 2.0: a word processor for managers.

Wordbench: Tools for Writing
A ddison-Wesley 's Word bench word processor runs on the IBM PC and the Apple Ile, Ile, and IIGS.
The program is made up of an outliner, notetaker, add-in manager, writer, pri.nt man ager, and folder manager. The

outliner and notetaker are in tegrated so you can assign or reassign notes to any point in the outline. Jfyou move head ings, the program automati ca lly moves the corresponding notes. You can then merge all the notes and the outline into a first draft.
Notetaker can also work as
your information manager, al 
lowing you 10 sean;h notes by subject, key words, or priority

From Integration to Decision Support

T he upgraded Frame work: Ill represents a new strategy for Ashton· Tate, which no longer views
Framework as an integrated
package, bur as a decision support program.
Enhancements to Frame work include the ability t.o import and export files with WordPerfect or Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.01 , and the ability to run other applications without leaving Framework. lt also has support for mem ory beyond the 640K-byte limit, mouse support, a the saurus, and electronic mail.
Better performance shows up in the more power ful outliner, easier file man ageme nt , better dBASE
cornpalibWty, a spreadsheet that recalculates 50 to I00 percent faster, and verb 10 keniz.ation to speed up per

formance of programs writ ten with Framework's
applications language. The new telecommunica
tions and network support in Framework ID uses Action Computing' MHS (Mes sage Handling System) mes
sage format. A local-area-network
(LAN) version of Frame work: III is scheduled to be released soon, according to Ashton-Tate.
Framework III runs on the IBM PC, XT, AT, and com patibles with 640K bytes of RAM and DOS 2.0 or big.her. Price: $695; LAN version, $995. Contact: Ashton-Tate, 20101 Hamilton Ave., Tor rance, CA 90502, (213)329 8000. Inquiry 787.

markings . You can also edit and print notes.
The add-in manager lets you integrate fumre applica tions and features . Brain stormer is the first add -in in cluded with Wordbench, and ii includes freewriting, invisi ble writing, nut shelling, and goal setting. Freewriting lets you write in a continuous stream, but not edit. Invisible writing conceals words as you enter them. Nut shelling limits the amount of space in which you can write, and goal setting asks for subject, point of view, audience, and purpose of writing.
The writer facility in Wordbench manages the writ ing, editing, and formatting
task and also serves as the
merging point between the outliner and the notetaker. You can also use the writer 10 im port and export information from other programs in ASCil format .
Some of the desktop tools in Wordbencb include the viewer, a window that lets you see and work with two documents at once, a spelling checker, a thesaurus, word search, and a format tool.
The folder manager main tains files; it gives you access to macros and keep track of all the documents in a folder.
Finally, the print manager contains all the c-0mmands and functions that enable you to print a document .
Wordbencb runs on the IBM PC, XT, AT, and compat ibles with 256K byte of RAM and DOS 2.0 or higher. The Apple version requires 128K bytes of RAM and Pro
DOS 8. Price: IBM version, $189; Apple version, $149. Conta.ct: Adclison-Wesley, One Jacob Way, Reading, MA 01867, (617) 944-3700. Inquiry 788.

84 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988


Th~r~' .no denying the availability of some outstanding dedicate~ terminals to access D1gltal~ Hewlett-Packard, and Data General® host systems. Which makes the task of precisely emulating the performance of those dedicated terminal on an IBM®PC or compatible a rather significant challenge.
Based on the feedback we've received from SmarTerm®users, our family of terminal emulation software has met the challenge, passed every test, and surpassed, in the opinion of a host of enthusiastic users, the performance of the host system terminals being emulated.
The reasons why we shine are fundamental. Every SmarTerm emulation is precise. So precise, in fact, chat a dedicated 
 terminal's SmarTerm counterpart fully emulates not only advanced performance 

features but also unique terminal quirks and bugs. 
 Every SmarTerm emulation is easy to use. It's one thing to make software do
what hardware does. It's another challenge co minimize software' human wear. The people designing our products understand the nature of the people using them.
Every SmarTerm emulation is easy to learn.These days, training costs are a hot
topic. Software intended to boost overall ystem efficiency muse recognize th value
of learning speed. We have. It's also easy to learn more about how SmarTerm emulations can help you 

shine.Your software dealer can supply all the details. Or you can contact us at 

persnfr· (608) 273-6000 to request complete specifications and a demonstration disk of the
SmarTerm emulation that precisely matches your requirements.

0 198.S f'<oo{t. Inc , 46~ ~On~. ~~. Wiscan<m B711 USA l'<nol1 uvl SmuT<rm or< rqa1md 1ad<ma1 · oi Ptnol1. Inc All ~n ~<d. IBM r> · r<Ji>«rcd lnldrm.r\ oi 1nttm111on>l llu.ln= Mochro Corporoti<Jn. OiiiiW", '<i'>'"<d tndcm11 k oi ~<111 C«i><inu1:in. D;ua Gmcnl" · rcpicrcd rr.lcm.r of Doti! Genet.ICotpor><ion

Cirr;le 205 on /Wukr Serv~e Card



Have a Blast with Your Mac

W ith MacBlast at each end of a data transfer,
you can send data to other
vendors' systems from a Mac Plus, SE, or II. MacBlast uses pull-down menus that give you access to DEC VT-52, VT- 100/200, and other tenni oal emulations. The commu nications program also sup ports MultiFinder and lets you back and forth be tween other applications .
MacBlast retains many of the features found in other products in the Blast family , including auto-dialing; auto log-in to remote systems; automated modem operations;
and BlastScript, a program ming language that lets you set
up repetitive tasks or scripts. MacBlast supports the
MacBinary standard and uses a proprietary full-duplex pro tocol to send data in both di rections at once . It operates through RS-232C ports with a hard-wired link or phone line and modem, or over asynchro nous links over Ethernet or AppleTalk networks. It can send and receive binary files, text , and console commands. Price: $195. Contact: Communications Research Group, 5615 Corpo rate Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808 , (504) 923-0888. Inquiry 794.
Share and Share Alike
Y ou can share hard disks and printers with one to four other users with Con nect-PC . The utility gives you access to the servers' disks on a file-by-file basis. And you can use it in multiuser appli cations, as it supports DOS file and record lockfog.
The utility also supports up to three serial or parallel

MocBlast performs simJ4ltaneous sends and receives.

printers at the server. It can send up to 1000 characters per second to each printer, ac cording to Micro Advice. Using the advanced print op tions, yoyr printer output is saved on disk, allowing you to generate output whenever you need it.
Micro Advice reports file transfer speeds of up to
115,000 bps for Turbo XTs, ATs, and 80386s, and 56,000 bps for XTs.
Connect-PC comes in two

varieties. The first is the soft ware server, which bas no hardware other than the COM ports. The second type is the hardware server, which in· eludes software and a board . Price: $199 for two PCs; $299 for three; $649 for four (includes board); $749 for five (includes board). Contad: Micro Advice Corp., 400 Phillip St. , Unit 9, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
N2L 5R9, (519) 884-4231. Inquiry 793.

Fast File Transfers
F astwire n 1.ets yoo ex change data between 51.4-inch and 31h-inch flop py disk drives or hard disk drives on different ma chines. When running in parallel mode it transfers at a rate of 500K bitS per second. Rupp Brothers reports .
I n what the company calls Turbo Serial mode, it transfers at 200K bps using seven-wire serial cable. Fastwire II features error checking and three user interfaces.
With the l>Mic version of Fastwire II, you have a choice of one 6-foot serial or parallel cable, both with thumbscrews that fit IBM PCs, laptops, and PS/2s. A 4-head serial cable comes . with 25-pin and 9·pin AT-

style connectors. To use Fastwire II, you oonn.ect the cable to your system and load
the software onto each com puter. No changes to the cont'i g. s ys file are neces sary, and the program auto matically connects the ma chines and selecls the proper
serial orparallel ports. The three levels ofuser in
ter faces include the split screen mode, which displays current directory files on both computers ; macro/ script form mode, whjch lets you wril.e and record cus tomized scripts for daily or routine transfers; and ad
vanced command mode, which provides you with a command-line interface that allows you to eoter complex transfer coounands with just

Track Action Across a Network
T rack action ofwork groups with Action Tracker, a project-manage ment program from Information Research . The network version of Action Tracker integrates the activ ity of each member of a net work so everyone knows who's responsible for what and when .
The network version runs on Novell's Advanced Netware 286 and any DOS 3. 1 ET BIOS network, according to the company. It includes Project Query Language (PQL) , Act.ionTracker's rela tional report writer. Price: $1498. Contact: Information Re se,arch Corp., 2421 Ivy Rd ., Charlottesville, VA 22901, (800) 368-3542; in Vi rginia, (804) 979-8191 . Inquiry 795.
a few keystrokes. You can also use Fastwire
11 to back up and manage files on a hard disk. You can back up only the most recent files or those that have been altered since a specified date. You also have options to view, rename, or delete files on either system.
Fastwire 11 runs on the IBM PC and compatibles with at least I70K bytes of free memory and DOS 2.0 or higher . Price: $129.95 forbasicver sion; $159 .95 fordelu.~ver sion with both seriaJ and par allel cables.
Contact: Rupp Brothers, P.O. Drawer J, Lenox Hill
Station , New York, NY 10021, (212) 517-7775 . Inquiry 792.

86 BY T E · SEPTEMBER 1988


J(1pSpeed "s ·~umleHly i111egrated t·1n·;ronmenf.

-- --···

.=---·=1-::-.:..:...-1·=--~·-· ·_·-_-_--_·- ...,.'·:11.

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VlfJ. rh e i111uactfre

Deb111:ger, comifl g won.

I· · .. I 2 s


7 Ion

I11 1i

S&e us al COMDEX Cashman .t.348

"JP/ M odula -2 looks like n1101her classic ill rlre m<·ki11i,: . It ge11er  ates code Cl:r good Cl:r or berter tha11 leading com11ilers and the programmin,: environment is a ge1111ill e plamtre to use :· Dick Poun tain BYTE Magazi ne
''After mo111h.< offr11.<tratio11 wirh Log irech M oduia -2186 . I bought TopSpeed Mod111a ·2 . . .I om delighted ·1·itl· it . or 0 11/y did it per/ecrly com11ile my 10.000 lines <lf rxistill g 011rce. it" j11st mart: /1111 as Wfl/:. Han . Gerber T H. wit1.crland
·· 1tike-d all oftlte hard-disk pace rhm was rt'co1·ererf afrer I dele1ed mr BORLAND . MICROSOFT. a;,cJ LOG/TECH co mpilers. because witIi TopSpeed Mod·
ule1-2 all ril e re 1 ore obsoft·re. ·· 
 Robert D. Randall Donnelley Marke1ing

T he successor of Pascal: JPI TopSpeed Modula-2 produces better code than Microsoft C, Turbo C, Logitech Modu la-2.
and Turbo Pie cal 4.0.
J P! TopSpeed Modula -2 i a professiona l Modu la-2
deve lopment y tern with full upport of memory rn del . multi-tasking, long data types, structured constant . long and s hort pointers. 80x87 inline code and e mu lator. sepa rate com pilat ion, direct BIOS/ DOS alls, etc. The com prehen ive library include GA , EGA and VGA graphic support , math functions, sorting. file hand ling, window management, a time-sliced process . cheduler and more.
The C.ompller 1111 lndudes: Hi gh- peed optimizing compiler (3.000-5 .000 lines/ min . on a PC AT 8MH z). integrated mcnll·drivcn cnvi ronmcni wi1h muhi -window/mult i-lllccdi tor, au1omatic makl', fast smart linker. All Modul a-2 sou rces to libraries inc luded. BO US: Comp lete high-speed window management module incllldcd with source. 258-page scr's Manual and 190-page Lan guage Tutorial .
The Ted1Kit include$: As cmblcr source for s1ar1-up code and run-time libra ry. JP l TopSpeed Assembler( 30,000 lines/min). TSR modu le. commu nication dri er. PROM locntor. dynamic 6 erlays. and 1ech  nical infom1a1ion. 72-page manual.
System Requirements: IBM PC orcornpa1ible. 384 K RAM . 1wo noppy 
 dri ves (hard disk recommended ).
Circle 137 on llMlhr Mrviu Card

. . ..
Sin·e /Je11c/1mark measured by the- British twuiard f /ru1i1u1iou (851) - 25 ileratio11so11011 XMfl:AT
Compiler Kit $99.95 TechKit $59.95
To Order:
In the US & anada. all:
xt 255, 24 Hour . Or mail us your order with a check , money order. or VISA /M information. 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.
Shipping& handhni,:chargc~ ; In orth America : Add 5.00 ~hip ping · handling. plu~ 2.00 for each ;1ddi1ional product. Q\'er,eas. Add 20.00 ,hipping & handling . plu~ .00 for each additiona l pmduct.
Je n en & Partners Internationa l
IJOI San Anto nio Rd. Suite 301 Mountain View CA 94043 Phone: (4 15) 967 -3200
In England and Europe conlac1: 
 Jen. en & Partner. UK Lid .. 63 
 Clerkcnwell Rd. . Lc1ndon E JM 
 5NP. Phone : (01 ) 253-4333. 
 Compiler Kit £59.95. (add £4.69 
 for VAT & handling in 1hc UK; 
 £4 .00 handling in l::urope). Tcch
 K11 £34 .95 (l1dd £4 .03 for VAT & handling in the K. £.UlO hand· ling in Europe).
Tt1rSpec-J 1,. a. tr.iJ.('M~lrl.. o f Jrn.~n · P;a.r1oc" 01he:r brand ;ml.I rrod1.11.t na.Jlk''
nr .ate 1r.ldcm.1rk< or h!'l?1\l~rcd tradcm.atl\
lhc1r~~p«°1l\C' hHldC'~


Program for Your PC
Like lhe original Disk Technician, the advanced version identifies disk prob lems before they cause errors. The new version tests the overall condition of the hard disk first and moves any data in the unsafe spots to good lo cations. lf it finds a reliabil ity problem, it will perform a low-level reformat and then continue with testing.
Other additions include four different seek tests, an automatic screen-saver func tion, a data- and file-allocation
table recovery for down sys
tems, and a bundled copy of SafePark Advanced.
Disk Technican Advanced works with two hard disk drives, up to 136 megabytes each with MFM-type control lers, or 208 megabytes each with RLL-type controllers.
You can pa.rtirion each drive into C through Z with up to 32
megabytes in each.
The program runs on the
IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2s, and compatibles. Price: $189.95. Contact: Prime Solutions lnc., 1940 Gamet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109, (619) 274-5000.
inquiry 799.
Remote Control for Your PC
With Remote2 you can operate PC programs from other modem-equipped IBM PCs. The program con ists of the Host and Call . The Ho tis in talled on the host computer and includes Remote2 Manager. which you use to configure the Host software and maintain the user database.

lop' au1oma1ic shutoff fea
 tu re and discharges the battery. 

Tllis is necessary to keep 
 nickel-cadmium batteries from 

running low as a result of 

short charge/recharge cycles. 
 Price: $39. 95. 
 Contact: Traveling Sof tware, 
 Inc., 193 10 North Creek 
 Pkwy. , Bolhell, WA 9801 l, 
 (206) 483-8088. Inquiry 798.

Disk Technician Advanced performs hard disk analysis.

Call is a communications program that calls Remote2 Hosts. With the Host pnr gram, Call provides you with exact screen a.nd keyboard mapping of the host computer, file tran fers, remote printer redirection, CGA graphics, and a data-compressed link.
Remote2 lets you call files and programs on LANs. It a lso features a chat window for typed d.iscussions and explana tions. Keyboards and screens at both ends of Rernote2 are live, and either can control the host. The caller can also choose to lock out the host' keyboard.
Security is provided by in dividual user passwords. Each user must go through a re quired action at log-in time, giving control over the sys tem to the manager.
The program also ha a
callback feature that Jets the host call the caller back at a predetermined phone number. This not only adds another level of security but saves you money if you are calling Jong distance.
Remote2 runs in restart, manual, or always ready mode. Restart mode lets you reboot the host PC between calls. Manual Jets the opera tor tell the host to accept a call. Always ready answers an in coming call with no operator intervention.
Remote2 runs on the IBM PC and compatibles with DOS

2.0 or higher and 48K bytes 
 of free RAM for color and 36K 
 bytes for monochrome. 
 Price: $129 for Host; $89 for 
 Call; $195 for both. 
 Contact: Digital Communi
 cation As 9ciates, Inc. , 1000 
 Holcomb Woods Pkwy., 
 Roswell, GA 30076, (800) 
 241-6393; in Georgia, (404) 

Inquiry 7')7. 

Keel:>ing a Watch on Your Battery
I f you use a battery powered laptop, you don't want your batteries to get low . With Battery Watch from Traveling Software, the ter minate-and-stay-resident (fSR) software pops up a gas gauge- type display, bowing you how much power is left in your laptop's battery. The gauge shows how much time you have left based on how you've been using the system during the current session, and the information i updated every 2 minutes.
To prevem the batt.eries from running low, the pro gram has a deep discharge fearure that overrides your lap-

A Window on Your dBASE Fi les
W ith Q&E, you can query and dBASE 11 and Ill, FoxBASE, Clipper, and other dBASE-oompatible files. You can view multiple dBASE files imultaneously in different windows. Its query capability supports ad hoc and stored queries, the results of which you can copy into word processors and other Win dows products.
The program's editing ca pabilities let you update field and delete and add records. It allows WYSIWYG editing, and you can create new data base files and modify existing file definitions.
The program functions as a stand-alone database system or as an integrated Windows interface to dBASE-c.ompatible
files. You do not need a copy of dBASE 10 u e Q&E .
To run Q&E, you need an IBM PC or compatible with at least 5 I2K bytes of RAM and DOS 2.0 or higher. The com pany reports that Oracle and SQL versions of Q&E will be available soon. Price: $129. Contact: Pioneer Software, 4900 Waters Edge Dr., Suite 135, Raleigh, C 27606, (919) 859-2220.
lnquJry 800.


6. 8. 10. 12MHZ





· CM 1322N · CM 1370A · CM 1380F · CM 1495

640 X 200 720 X 400 640 X 350 800 X 560 

MM 1222 MM 1422 MM 1295

800 X 350 
 800 X 350 
 800 X 560 

Circle 526 on Readtr Service Card

~TIA K TI UNG 408-435-0140 ·'··~'-:::·0::~3.~,::·E:.o';L:C~;:·':.'E ;it..,.-S ~

2060 RINGWOOD AVE ., SAN JOSE:: CA, 95131



CD-ROM Drive for the Mac
T osbiba claims its XM 2100A-MAC is the fastest CD-ROM disk drive system for Macintosh computers. It provides 680 megabytes of storage with a 400-millisecond average access time.
Included with the kit is a SCSI cable for connecting it to your Mac, driver software, and a sample setup and demon stration disk. The disk drive features an audio output port.
The system supports the Mac SE, Plus, and ll. Price: $995. Contact: To hiba America, Inc . , Disk Products Division, 9740 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92718, (714) 583-3108 . Inquiry 837.

Toshiba's XM-2 IOOA-MAC: the fastest kid on the block?

Now, What Was in That File?
I fyou"re tired of looking at filenames in a directory and not having the faintest idea what the file contains, Remem.Dir can help. A mem

ory-residenl program, Remem Dir lets you add a description of up to 50 characters for each file .
You can also use Remem
Dir 10 supply a filename when you give commands to run program . The command and filename are sent automati cally with parameters that you

specify to your application program: The program act in lhis way like a batch file, only you can run it from inside
the application program.
You can load the program manually or from your AUTO EXEC .BAT file . According to Elliam, you can put Remem Dir anywhere in your chain of memory-resident programs.
The program run on IBM PCs, XTs, ATs. or compatibles with DOS 2.0 or higher. 60K bytes of RAM, and a standard or enhanced keyboard . It can work with a CGA, EGA. and IBM or Hercules mono
chrome card. RememDir re verts lo normal CGA color when running under extended EGA and won't work with HercuJes in the graphics mode. Elliam recommends you use
the program with a hard disk
co 111 in 1.1~d

Important TIPS* for BYTE Subscribers: 
 Receive Product Information 10 Days Earlier! 

IDENTlflC TIO CARD John Sample 785432189


All you need is a touch-tone telephone and your subscriber I.D. number. 
 See instructions facing the Reader Service Index in the back 
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10 or 12 or 16 MHz · 0 wait slate 512K Memory Expandable to 1 MB

Set up utility in ROM Enhanced keyboard


Serial & Parallel


Everex 1.2 Ooppy drive Hard dr. & floppy dr. controller

80386 · 20 MHz 0 wait state

20, 10 &6.7 MHZ

64- 256K cache of very high speed RAM

2 or 8 MB of 32·bit memory expandable lo

16 MS using optional 32·bit memory


exp. board


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Enhanced keyboard

Con fi guration


386 130 meg/20 MHz . . . . . . .. 6495 286 40 meg ................... 2395 386 40 meg/16 MHz ............. 4195 386 60 meg/20 MHz ............ 5650 Portable Ill 40 me~12 MHz ... .. .. 4195

-- ---- -- ---- ---------·--·----
PS/2 model 30120 meg .......... 1n5 
 PS/2 model 50/20 meg .......... 2595 
 PS/2 model 60140 meg ........ . .3395 
 PS/2 model 60/71 meg .......... 4100 
 PS/2 model 80/40 meg .. ... ..... 4595 


Toshiba 3200-40 ................ 3695 
 Toshiba 3100-20 ... ...... ........ Call 
 Toshiba 1000 ........... . . ....... Call 
 NEC Multi.speed .. . ............ .1395 
 NEC Multispeed EL .............. 1595 
 EPSON LT ...........·. .. . . . . ... Call





Mac-SE/20 Meg . .................. Z595 
 Mac-11140 Meg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3795
10120 MHz, 1.2 lloppy, 2 MB RAM Monochrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2995

Microsoft Word ... . . . . . . ........ 239 
 Word Per1ect 5.0 ..... . . .... . . . . .249 

Lotus 1·2·3 . ...... ... . .... ... . . .2'if/ 

dBase 111 + . ... . . .. .. . .... . . .385 

[ ~


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of the Month
Microsoft Mouse . . .$109 Microsoft Excel . .. . .$309 Aldus Page maker . .. $479





Epson Epson

FX850/1050 LOBS0/1050

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Epson LOS00/2500 . . .$359/895

Epson LX800/EX800 .. $199/445


AST 380 model 340 ......·.....4395 AST 286 model 80 ... .. .... . ... 1896 
 AST 286 model 120 ............. Call 

AST 286 model 140 ............ 2695 



180D/1 5E . .. .. . .. . .$1791385 MSP40/45 . . . .. . ... .$299/439 MSPS0/55 .. ... .... .$399/509 Tribute 124/224 . .. .. $529/679 Overture Lazer . ... . .. .. $1459
HP LASER Jet II .$1750

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CA 91304
Compaq is a Registered Trademark ol Compaq

Prices wbjeci to change without notice

IBM is a Registered Trademarll of tntem~tional Business Machines

~le 515 on RtJmkr &rvice Ca.rd


P A C I F I C ---------~---~~__..___J

drive, but it will work on one 
 floppy disk drive. 
 Price: $29.95. 
 Contact: Elliam Associates, 
 P.O. Bo;r; 6922, Los Osos, CA 93412, (805) 528-5871. Inquiry 835.
PageMaker 3.0 for the PC
P ageMaker 3.0 includes support for long docu ments, image controls for scanned and bi1-map images, and import fiJters
for Lotus 1-2-3 , Symphony , and dBASE. With lhe new
filters , you can put worksheet and database files directly into PageMaker documents
without intermediate file conversion. You can also im port files from Freelance and

Harvard Graphics. It includes 20 templates for
reports, newsletters, slides, flyers , proposal and other d~uments. You can modify the templates to suit your needs or create your own.
New capabilities include automatic word wrap arotiod rectangular graphic: and cus tomized wrap for irregular shapes. You can make spot color overlays for commercial printing and color documents with selected color printers. Image controls for scanned and bit-map images work wilh PostScript. and non-Post Script language printers.
PageMaker 3.0 work wilh
IBM ATs, PS/2s, or other Windows~mpatible com puters. It requires 640K bytes of RAM, a 20-megabyte hard disk drive, an EGA, VGA, or Hercules graphics card, DOS

3.0 or higher, Microsoft Win
 dows 2.03, and a mouse. 
 Price: $795. 
 Contact: Aldus Corp. , 411 
 First Ave. S, Suite 200, 
 Seattle, WA 98104, (206) 
 Inquiry 832. 

Making Music on the Atari
M idisofl Studio Ad vanced Edition includes the same features of the orig inal version plus added editing, programming, and other ca pabilities. The previous ver sion' features included 32 polyphonic, independently controlled tracks; real-time tempo changes and track mixes; and full-track editing and flexible region editing.

The mus ic program lets you record in real time , play
back, overdub, and rewind on 64 polyphonic, independently controlled tracks. On an Atari 520ST, lhe limit is 30,000 notes per song; on a 1040ST the limit is 70,000.
The advanced edition offers MIDI event editing, which gives you control over entering, changing, and re moving all aspects of the music. It lets you program tem po changes, supports up to 16 MIDI channels per track , offers real-time Mlm vol ume control and real-time oc· tave transpose for each track. and di plays MIDl-thru con trols on the main screen. Price: $149. Contact: Midisoft Corp., P.O. Box 1000, Bellevue, WA 98009, (206) 827-0750. Inquiry 836.

88PC-4 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Circlt 520 on Reader Strviu Card

ti ilJ
S AB SERIAL , $27.50







ABCD 089 TYPE $43.50




BAR 6-·1 $19.95
ir:.:J :.:o .,.. .. _
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750 VA. $1899. $1425.

1 K VA. $2299. $1724.

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5 K VA. $9379. $7499.


Circk 518 on ~aJhr Seni~e Card




Surge suppressors

150 VC4,.

IEEE Standard 587 Rejection I 20160dB .
4 OutJets.611 . Cord
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$199. $149.

450 Va.

$259. $197.

600 Va.

$299. $225.

1000Va. $489. $349.

1200 Va.

549. 439.


TVR500 TVR1000


TVA2000 I~

$129. $199 .

TVR3000 iMll'OT llAHO& .... . 5..,,$395.
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Buy with 


Reputable computer dealers

This message is brought to you

will answer all these questions


to your satisfaction. Don't settle for less when buying your computer ha rdware, software, peripherals and supplies.

MARKETING COUNCIL of the Direct Marketing
Association, Inc.

Purchasing Guidelines

6 E. 43rd St..

· State as completely and ac New York, NY 10017

In an effort to make your telephone purchasing a more uccessful a nd pleasurable activity, The Microcomputer Marketing Council of the

curately as you can what

M M C 
 merchandise you want in
cluding brand name, model number, catalog number.


· Establish that the item is in


stock and cor1finn shipping

at I.he Direct MaM<etng Assoaaoon. Jnc.


Direct Marketing Association,

· Confirm that the price is as

Inc. offers this advice, ''A


knowledgeable buyer will be a successful buyer." These are specific facts you should know

· Obtain an order number 
 and identification of the 
 sales representative. 

about the prospective seller before placing an order:

· Make a record of your order, noting exact price in

Ask These Impartant Questions
· How long has the company been in business?
· Does the company offer 
 technical assistance? 

cluding shipping, date of order, promised shipping date and order number.
If you ever have a problem,
remember to deal first with the seller. If you cannot resolve the problem, write to MAIL

· Is there a service facility?


· Are manufacturer's warran OMA, 6 E. 43rd St., New York,

ties handled through the




· Does the seller have fonnal return and refund policies?

· ls there an additional charge for use of credit cards?

· Are credit card charges held until time of shipment?

· What are shipping costs for items ordered?

Di ~ t Ma rke ting A~>'oc iation , Inc. 19!lS 88PC~ B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

D ATA ACQUISITION: Get system capability at a board-level price. The System 570 is a personal computer based Data Acquisition Workstation with the


extensive signal capacity you need: 32 analog inputs (or 16 differential), 2 analog outputs, 16 digital inputs, 16 digital outputs, 16 power control lines. The price is only 51425, com


plete with our powerful SoftSOO software, an extension of advanced BASIC that provides foreground/background architecture, array and memory management, disk access and storage, and over 45 additional commands.


+ 16 N expansion slot lets you extend your System 570's
..Ncapabilities by selecting from an extensive library of optional input/output modules. And you can use the 570 with other data acquisition software such as

DADiSP, ASYSTTM, and Labtech Notebook .

For complete information, a demonstration, or applications assistance, call toll free:
(In Ohio call 216-248-0400 .)



Circlt 517 on Reader Sttvicr Cant

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y i E 88PC·7

Circl e 516 on Reader s~nriu Card


Give your P complete virus pr tecli n. Our product provide the mo ·t power fu l and ef
f ctive cures for compu ter viruses - and are simple Lo u c .
Our Product · will diaeoose and al::
w viru es. as well a ~
your . y tem from ham1 - and
re main tran. parent.
In addition. we attempt Lo earc h
ouL and destroy tho e really tough iruses that are mai led 10 u . (Thi s
hel ps u maintain our oftware pr duct so they are ready for any

th ing). T his serv ice i free of charge to our software cu tomers.
Our prod ucts offer uperior v iru protection at low price . Call today and we will hip your order immed ia tel y.
Villarreal Con uhing 4633 Capi tola venue
an Jo e. A 9 · 111-2624 (408) 972-0179

VC-IMM NE Continual! diagno e · your di ks and file and ale11 · the u er when
ever an infection oc urs. OL copy protected............................ 49
Prot ct your y tcm fr m ham1 
fu l virus action. and looks ou t for suspici us virul activities. Not copy prote red ................... 49
D isk Examination Service Mail your di k - uspe ted of in fection to u . We will attempt 10 i ·olate and destroy the i rus. There i no charge for unsucce s
fu I auem pt ·........... ............ .$19

Computers For The Blind 

Talking computers give blind and visually impaired people access to electronic information. The question is how and how much? The answers can be found in "The Second Beginner's Guide to Personal Computers for the Blind and Visually Impaired" published by the National Braille Press. This comprehensive book contains a Buyer's Guide to talking microcomputers and large print display processors. More importantly it includes reviews, written by blind users, of software that works with speech. This invaluable resource book offers details on training programs in computer applications for the blind, and other useful information on how to buy and use special equipment.
Send orders [O: 
 National Braille Press Inc. 

88 St. Stephen Street 
 Boston, MA 0211 5 
 (61 7) 2 66~61 60 

$ 12.95 for braille or cassette, $14.95 for print. ($3 extra for UPS shipping)
BP is a aonprofit braille printing and publishing house.
88PC-8 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Mono System EGA System

995 $1419

$1169 $1619

$1399 $1770

$1574 $1945

16MHz 13861
$2050 $2415

Baalc System Features:
80286-16 bl1 CPU, 80287 socket, 512K RAM ex· panclable lo 1MB. fully oompatlble AMI BJOS, 1.2Mb Floppy~ Ortve, combined floppy/herd disk controller, K.eytronlcs 101 enhanced keyboerd, ciocillcaleodar with battery bltcl\up, 195 wan l)OW9' $UPQI}'. 48 hour burn.fn testlng. operations manual, one year limited warranty a.nd Optiooal on·stte maintenance egreemen1.
20Mb Mono Speclal.. ..... .. $1249 

Basic System reatures plu11: Monogrephics board with printer port, Samsung 12" ember mono monitor and Seagate 20Mb herd drive .
20Mb EGA Speclal........ $1619 

Basic System leetu res plus : Ever&>< EGA graph cs bo8rd. Mitsubishi t 41 0-C or Evervision EGA color
monitor and Se gate 20Mb hard drive.
20Mb VGA Speclal.. .... ... ..$1899 

Basic System rea1ures plus: Everex EVGA graphics
board C640 " 480, 800 x 600. up to 256 COloJS l.
Mftsubislll DiAmond Scan multisync color monltor and Seagate 20Mb hard drive.
20Mb EGA Specta1...........
Basic Syslem features plus: Mooographics board with
printer porl , Evervi&lon 14 " llat screen amber mono monitor and Seagate 20Mb hard drive. Upgrade to 40Mb Seagate hard drtve. Add $180 Upgrade to 80Mb Seagate hard drive. Add $500

EGA Bundle.··.........·...·.....·$459 

Evere>< EGA autoawltch graph ics board and E\llill'llision EGA color monit0<.
5uper EGA Bundle...... .......$629 

Everex EGA Deluxe eut.oswilch graphics board
I 640x480, 752x410 >. end Mi1subishi 1371 ·A
Oiamond Scan mullisync color moni1or.
Super VGA Bundle.............$769 

EY&rex EVGA graphics board r 640x480, 800x600 , up to 258 color's l and Mitsubishj 1371-A Diamond Scan muttlsync color montt0<
Hard Disk Specials Cfor PC >
Soogele ST225 20Mb + Controller............ .$265 
 Seagate ST125 20Mb + Controller.............$329 
 Seegate ST238 30Mb + Controller. ............$289 
 Seagole ST251 40Mb + Controller........... ..$449 

Hard Disk Specials Cfor AT>
Seagate ST1 25 20Mb I 40ms >............... ....$269 
 Seagate ST138 30Mb c 40ms >.. ............. ... .$339 
 Seagate 51251 40Mb I 40ms l... .... .. ...... .. ..$369 

Seagate ST251·1 40Mb I 28ms l ..... ....... ....$429 
 Seagate 4096 60Mb ( 28ms ) .. ... .. ............. .$729 
 Micropolls 1335 71 Mb ( 28ms l ..................$.599 

Everex Modems
Everex Evercom external end internal hall-card modems ( fully Heyes compatitlle l with Bilcom Communications software. Internal I 200 Baud Modem.......................SCAU External 1200 Baud Modem............$139 
 Internal 2400 Baod Modem ........................$149 
 External 2400 Baod with Mini 110 ......... ......$229 

Cude 524 on Reader Suviu Card (DEALERS: 525)

Misc. Specials

Mini 1/0 I PAR, SER. CUC . CAL l ..................$49 

Mini 110 with Game Porl.. .. ...........................$.55 

Mini 1/0 .. Log11ech C7 senal mouse ..........S119 

Mitsubishi 3 .5 " 720K floppy drlve............. ....$99 

Mitsubishi 3 .5 " 1.4Mb fklppy drive.............1129 

wan 150

Power Suppfy...............................$49 

200 Watt Power Suppjy .... ....... ..... .. .............S79 

2Mb EMS memory board with OK.................'80 

6--... --.-·-·-.-. - -· 3Mb EMS memory board with OK.................199 

· Special Prices valid only through SV30'8ll

- . """"'""°"' 1 llfl&IW



MBER 1988 · B YT E 88PC·9

Circlt 514 on lllailtr Strvict Um!



- · """"--=--!

· 111»180086 ~ t IMhigh Speed memory inSllllcl t Elllll1dablt 10 IO MB t Ptioeno1 386 BIOS 0< .llaw1l 386 BIOS
· ' speed (<l.771&'&'16 MHz) · 'lOON pclYM ~
· c... wilh <Hel -
· Elllllnoed~
t Haid~di!ll~Clld
· 1.211 llci!lP)' dl9lc dti'4
· -~am
With pnnlO< port
t HI-RES l.lonoclltomt Molwlor · Us."s
· ly!atw;v,..-,ry

ALTEC-286 Enhanced System
· -1102116-IOm~
· 5121< RAM t OuAI S4>M<1 6'10 Miil · 'J.«HI- s.4'flly · M ltyiecue · 6ftllMCed keybOW
* H¥d distllloppv dist COllllOller clld
t 1.2 Mlloppy dbl< dn.e
· -~ ~ with pnrdia< po<1
·· ~ HI-B REI S MOoS noclvomt  · u-·s manual
· l)'Olf~

·-111· ......-  Jll""'*"Oill,""'"

C!QlllJllfWl·llll $11151JDOl&·l911

ALTEC-XT Turbo System
· 8088-1~
* ·.71llO MHz
· 640K RAM
· ,5(111 pooo9I "AA
· IJ Mylt 1'ayboartl · floppy ""'1Ullh el1d · 360Kllci!lP)'disl<<llM · Monochtom&'G~
catd h pMlef po<1 · HI-RES Monochn:lme Mono · l'llol!nlX BKlS · l/sel'$ tnillual * I ~WSIWlly

ALTEC-286Jr System
· 1111118028&-10 · S12l< RAM · 'lJ1}N l)CJo4< supj)ly
* ArJ style cue
. ,..,..~
t HW ddli/lloppr dis!< CG"IUlllllr
Clld · ,.2M llci!lP)' disk dtMI
· ~ cardwt111~pon
· HJ.RES Monoclwt>me Monilo< · Uw's manual t I )eM MtTlllly


ALTEC Technology Corporation
5751 Rickenbacker Road, Los Angles, CA 90040 Tel: 1·213"888-9100
Order Desk: 1-800-255-9971

88PC-JO 8 Y T E · SEPTEMB.ER 1988


..,. The Frame Crabb r
that run with any
software, anytime.
..,. Tl xt/Graphics overlay on live video

- - ·----- .

..! . .,.,...,...___. -- -; :

. .





..-.·-~-·"""' --~-


Soft wa re included:

.... EGA/CGA text/graphi

..,. Video Editor - cut/paste,

overlay on captured till· 
 paint program

frame video

..,. Univer al Interface Driver 

Ill- T.V. quality images

.... Printer Driver

CALL (619) 587-2800

VUTEK S YSTEMS I N 10855 rrento Valley Rood San Diego. CA 92 12 1

Circl~ 527 on Reader Strvict Card


All the speed and power of a hardware-assisted debugger at a software price


Hardware-le el break points
R AL~Tl E break poinl\ on memory locations. mem ry range.·
c ecuuon. 1/0 pon-. hardware and ·oftware interrupts. More
powerful break points than A Y software-only debugger on the
markel. oft-I Egive. ou the power of an in-circuit emulator on

CodeVicw is a grea1 integra1cd debugger. but it u. e. over 200K of conventional memory. MagicCV uses advanced feature. f the 80386 microprocessor to load CodeView and ymbol in extended memory. This allows MagicCV 10 run CodeView using le!'> than K of on entional
memory on your 80386 PC.

yourde ·k.
Break out of hung program
With a key trokc - no e temal . witch ncce.. ary. Even with

Don t let 640K be vour limit!
If you are clo. ing in ;n the 640K limit and would
like the powcrof odeView. MagicCV il, for ou.

interrupt:; disabled.
Break the 640K barrier
oft-I · use ZERO b le of memory in the first I MB of address spa e. This is cspc ially useful for those subtle bug 1ha1 change when the . 1aning addre ·· of your code changes. With oft-I E your code e c u1e' at the same addrcs!> whether the debugger i. loadcd or nol.
Wor ks with your favorite debugger
Soft-I can be a. a Mand-alone debugger or it can add ii' powerful break point to the software debugger you alread use. You can continue 10 u..c your favorite debugger until you require
oft-~ E. Simply p<lP up the Soft- ICE wind w t el powerful rcal-11me break pomh. When a break point is reached. your debugger will be activated.

Don t let the debugger hide the bug!
ven if you're not clo. ing in on 1he 640K limit. running CodeView wi1h MagicCV make your debugging en imnmcnt much clo. er 10 the end user's program environment. You can u c
odeView 10 locale ubtle bug. that only occur when there is plenty of free memOI) . or those difficult hugs that only occur when you r progrcllTI
i. running with a ouple of TSR loade .
How agicCV work
MagicCV uses the 803R6 to reate a . epara1e
vinual machine for odeView. Magi1.:CV u es
between 4K & K of conventional memory a' a
bridge bc1wccn the DOS environment and Code View.

olve tough ystems problem too
ofl-ICE is ideal ~ r debugging TSRs. interrupt handlers. self hooting program. . DO loadable device drivers. non-DO opcra1in . stems. and debugging within DOS & BIOS. Sofl-ICE
j, also great for firmware d elopment because Soft-ICE'. break

MagicCV is eas. to use
lfyouarea odeViewu!ier, youalreadylnowhow
10 use MagicCV 100. Just type M V instead of
CV: c ery1hing cl. c i automatic.

points wori.. in ROM.
How Soft-ICE Work
ofl-ICE u e the power of the 803 6 10
surround your program in a virtual machine. This gi cs you complete control of 1hc DOS
environment. while Sofl-1 E runs safely in
protcc1cd mode. Soft-ICE u'e' 80386 pr tccled mode fealurcs. such a. paging. 1/0 privilege level. and break poinl registers. 10 pm idc real-time hardware-le el break point. .
"Soft·ICE is a product any MS-DOS developer serious enough to own a 386 machine should have."
Dr. Dol>li s Jr111rnal - May /98fi

Save $86 


· 199

oft-I E


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ALL TODAY (603) 888 · 2386 
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>O tl;1y nlum:y · b;.11:1. gu~r.1111.:e 
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Magic CV with Soft-ICE
·ing Soft-IC wnh Code View gives you th features neces..ary for profc: i nal le el ') , tern · debugging. Magic V and ft-ICE can work in concert w11h Codc View lo pro ide the m , I powerful debugging platform you will find


QJY;le 523 on Reader &rvice Card

SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY TE 88PC-11

MICROMINT'S Gold Standard in Single Board
Computers and.Industrial Controllers

TM IJCCUG. oely 4..)" t · - ilJiH Ilic ome 6-tUO CMOS ZIO ~-.ouc-!1011 ~mpu1t>M proe..or u Mlct-ocni.1u·, Sff l la ·M SBllOF'X

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. · CMCa tto.&~1111... : i..yj"4,t · - - cPIJ, ......... "-« _.......

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8AStC-S2 Coriipm erJCocuroDe-r

TM ICC.$2 Compuitl1 /Cof!trollt1 11 M l«om~n1~1 hof l..,.I wllln1 tl.a.rad.81oei·
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'° rOI" dr.c~nt r.noup

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BCC1.l $mart ll:l'mm1.l boud

8CC.IOR t-Od:AM-1 ,.-b-)' O\llCNI

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..··.··.··l>r<a.Mt ~ ~ ··1+

$11:9 . 00 $??9.H

OE f 100 Quallt,. ··trl·f 1.luh ·I J,H .OCll

The M l!CrOllli fll BC · 4(1 11 d t111 &

channel ,re_by CNfPY:I ti ·-P&'"ioa bo.:rd
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used oose1bcr i111 1 1i11&k ·l"~·:n· to ptOV!dit · IOUI of 1l l tt:b 'f Dll1PM1

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llCCllU· I 9CCll U·l 11CCllU· J
BC~2 / ll

IU51/1Ul DaalRS- 2ll/ <&Skt;.J IUl /UOI Modcm.ud tt:rial pon
1201 / 120 1 Modt~ / Modem board
BCC'Sl JttiaJ pi>t"I w;lltict 1af 1W111c.

 s..n.eo S7Ut

Exp,a.ndon Producu

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SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY TE 88PC-l3

_..,.--·__.~·----~ .: I

Human o· .
·mensions #17

#T2- Soltware Piracy

Those fantastic Byte covers- and boy, do they look great on this stylish , :Y4 sleeve T-shirt from Robert Tinney Graphics !
The colored sleeves and neckline vividly complement the full-color design. And don't mistake th is for a rubbery patch that cracks and peels off after a few washings. This is true four color process: the permanent inks are silk-screened Into the fabric, resulting in a beautiful, full -color image that lasts!
You 'II also appreciate the shirt itself: 

a heavyweight cotton/polyester blend 

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or for more informalion


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Slll"Ell FAST 


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* ti' Spec/al Ofter
EGA Portable 386
vertical 386·20 Mhz $Call

MSE 286·12
· The newest VLSI Chip set · 80286 microprocessor 6/12 MHz · 512K RAM expands to 1 MB
· L2 MB Teac floppy drive · W.D. hard disk/floppy disk
controller · Clock/calendar with battery
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state · 72 hours bum-in test · 16 MHz perfonnanc.e

Same as above system with 16 MHz peed Our Price $995 1.44 MB Micro Floppy Drive $159

80386 20 MHz MODEL 40 

· 80386 32-bit CP . 20 MHz · l IB high ~ stllic column RAM · 32-bit memory, exp;i:nd:s to 10 MB · W.D. hanl clliklflopp)' disk wob'Oller
(ESDI controller also available)

· Tc.)( 1-2 rn floppy dri'-e
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· 200 w low nOOe po,..... supply
· IOI-key enmnced k">boan:I · (,1odllcalendar with battery badwp

· Senal and panlld port · Support 7 80387
Xenix )'St.em V. OSJ2. PC MOS 386
· Read/Write ··o· wait ~
· 25 MHz performance


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.···...... S379

~ST-251°142 MBa8m.11 . · ........... S399

t'1'ibu £SDf 147 Mllf23iru} .. . .......... ... . U399

Mulllr tSOl lZQ Ml! 116m!l .. . . . . . · . · · .. . . »199


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.. $399 M

Miaupolu l.JJ3 44 Mil l2&n>l
n Mocropolis llJS Mil f2&ml .
- S'T~ 80 .Mil (2&ml 1:i Mll Flopp, o..k I'-: .
l60 Kil Flom> Dill< on.... 1.4~ l'IB 3.5" Meo rl<lw>' Om..
TM'"' no K3.5" Micro f1<11111l'

S699 $699 . 1109 .. S/19 llS9 Sll9

WYSE i MoNooor r122!0 · 800t ~1:X: Miult>mlC u Monitor lllOO ' 6001
N<CM~m<Xl.- 1 " . . .. ~\ICAPlusCanl! 1600) V<11> VC.A c....d !8001 600}
E'dU VCA f!IOO x 6001 . Cenoo ti.Iles OCA CMd C800 · 600) All~ lrn.'lllt llo.W

$M9 '599
.. 1.899
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Circle 521 on Rwuhr Slntiu Card (DEALERS: 512)

SEPTBMllER 1988 · BY T E 88PC-15


· l·t.V IDlli!I ·n.C:'Qll'f~-r ~a.9 ·· ·~ · 20 lO, · 1 kH.i ·~Ill .hlt<O ·-4ll ai.1 [l f ud.8 Wlh C111q,.Jlll l

· ~

b., lrrbo-1.ut,

11n ~' lnal ·paAI nuc;A

· n. .,_. ~· .-J.,. H lOer 87 M.K,

" n . · U&e ~ wr'1· ~·· lll<R!QfT (641t llS:lt ;it l5tll. Gill~ 1U flilAlWI l\AM)
·* !61 · J 81>31' . .~ C:o1'·~· i;oplJoe. r!U&IJI Q 'l'·d11rcm.cH.1A1.,. ·I 2.C, 10 e r 111 Nlt.11 ( 15 aadll N.Jh Clll l:M J88.115o}

· I W.-"'I"'~· OJlAW· to I lWqi·hfwil oa ll.e ~- be11ud ''20 iu DIAN:...~ It

I Mb)

· rro-.1 p.a.1 LEO. t-01 ~·r GID. 41il ~... ild .,,..d tadle..i i .

· AJ-pU e1o1.. .fWI INllLIU dJ~ llml~ d~ (l..d.JQl.i)

· LZ Mt floppy· dnn
· ~. If-bu ·Rid.'""°' IJ-'tM.1"""' ~lll:M>ft .t.ot.

I 0:uof' ll-b4J ln·...OfT ......... ~QI

-...o· .. · ~ t¥1Hn ,..,, lli.qilii p...toi~· (1 -1 1·._.r~HJ i..~d d~oppy ieoabr11..11oe iN1At1'f)U;

· rroa.1 &eC*M eo ' ' 6 IO s UJl-MoM ..,..


· - .. 101..., ......,4
· ST«·· doc ..adu ~ll..utse:a. d.At· IA CMOS RAM " lt.., ba1te1.,. bae -...p

· t-ru ~ed BIOS

· lG-.,. Sm.JP l9 lllCM. ..ppoiu o-r .t!I d.n-.. l n 

· llOS ~'" J !o" 1710 ~ ~ lln'Nll

· rrvm IMlll ~Sod I· dlH.b,I· ..-boud

· r r-l "'" ,._, ...,uic_ll.

· ..


.... re:· - _,


· IJt. .di . - . i npply. twt~ 1202..0 IJAJ:

" IJ aoi!l&. f t .. W°l0Y,1

· I m:t\&.I .... l pana.1 pot1


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tit: .......

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3F 286 System

· 80286 CPU · l.2MB f'lcpP'f · Sl2K Momcry · 10 I Keybodn:I
· F[JH D ConU'Oller

· 61ll/10 K"Ybo1ud
Seleciabl · 195 w~u Po>.·er Supply · Opllonal 00287 Sodel
· rec UL Approvod

bUb ·r W.aJJ SUJ· l!!IOZBl6 Mouo S,...·11!11 IOMH1 'l' w. _1t Sf.It· 8028tii WQl:IQ SJll·m. 10.NHt 'ti" w...! SUt.e 10286 Mono S~m
IZMH1 V W1J1 St.I· 80Z86 Mono S,.t.m
rot an. IGA s,.,...

S990 $1239 $1339 Sl575
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BYTE editors offer hands-on views ofnew products

Novy TSl-020MX
Radius Accelerator 25
Turbo Prolog 2.0
SOTA MotherCard 5.0
Microsoft Mach 20
Choice Words
Two25-MHz Accelerator Boards for the Mac SE
T he computer industry is engaged in an intere ting war: The Pace Race. Not long after IBM PC-compatible manufacturers had unleashed their 25-MHz. 80386 ma chines upon themarket , third party Mac vendor countered with 25-MHz 68020 accelera tor boards for the Mac SE . That single slot in the Mac SE ha proven its worth, because Lhis newest generation of ac celerator board boosts the SE's computing performance well past that of a Mac II .
I looked at the TSl-020MX by ovy Systems (marketed by TSI) and Lhe Radius Accel
erator 25 by Radius. Both
boards use the ame basic 16 MHz accelerator design, but with 25-M Hz components. The TSI-020MX is equipped with a 25-MHz 68020 CPU, a 6888 l floating-point unit (FPU), and 1 megabyte of 32 bit RAM that's expandable to 4 megabytes. The Radius Ac celerator 25 board has a 25 MHz 68020 CPU, an optional 68881 FPU, and a 32K-byte


Requirements: Mac SE running System 
 4.3/Finder 6.0 or higher 

Radius Accelerator 25 
 $1695 without 68881 
 coprocessor; $2195 with 

Requirements: Mac SE running System 
 4.3/Finder 6.0 or higher 

RAM cache composed of 32 bit static RAM. Both boards come wilh a disk of in talla tion software.
Installat ion requires that you open the Mac SE' case, remove the motherboard, and plug the board into the slot. This operation shouldn't be at tempted by a novice. That's because of the shock hazard from high-voltage circuits in side the Mac, or the po ibiJity of damaging electronic com ponents due to electrostatic discharge .
You also need to check the position ofjumperson bothac-

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 lnqui.ry 856. 

celerator boards during in~ta l lation . For the TSI-020MX, Lhese jumpers set the board's memory size (1 or 4 mega bytes) and number of wait states for a memory access (I or 2 at 25 MHz). For the Ra dius board, one jumper is used to indicate the presence of an optional 68881, and anolhi;r jumper sets the clock rate of Lhe68881 (16or25 MHz).
Support software for the TS1-020MX consists of three files: Novy!nit, NovyStart up, and the MAC20 Control DA. Novylni t and Novy Startup in tall certain re

sources that determine the board's mode of operation. Control DA lets you adjust cer tain parameters (i.e., use the 68020 instruction cache, in tercept MacWrite traps , route SANEtrapstothe68881, copy and use Lhe Mac ROMs in 32 bit fa t RAM , indicate wheth er or not to use the SE's native 16-bit memory, and install a RAM disk) while the SE is running or when you restart the machine. For the Radius Accelerator 25, a Radius SANE INIT patches the Apple SANE traps to use the 68881 (if pres ent), and an Accelerator CDEV lets you toggle on or off a code cache (the 68020 in st ruction cache) and a data
cache (the accelerator board's 32K-byte cache).
I put both boards into a Mac SE and ran some of the BYTE Small·C benchmarks. For an accurate comparison to the Mac SE's native CPU, the benchmarksu ed68000code. FortheTSI-020MX, thetimes (in seconds) were Matrix, 12.3; Sieve, 23.8; and Sort, 24.8. For the Radius Acceler ator 25 board: Matrix, 10.5· Sieve, 20. 1; and Sort, 19.6. The timings for a conventional SE are Matrix, 67 . I; Sieve, 170.2; and Sort, 154.2. Macll timings are Matri x, 21.2; Sieve, 40.2; and Sort, 44 .2.
The results indicate that a Mac SE equipped with one of Lhese boards runs five to seven time fa ter than a convention al SE, and twice as fast as a Mac II. But keep in mind Lhat these tests evaluated only CPU throughput. Applications that make extensive use of a hard disk drive or work with more memory than can fit in the cache won't perform as well . However. if you need the power of a Mac II but have a limited budget, these boards deserve a serious look.
-Tom Thompson



Borland's New Prolog: Even Better
T urbo Prolog 2.0 is a sig· nificant step forward for this popular version of the lan· guage. It has the same high speed and nicely integrated environment of the previous versions, and it presents a number of new features, like an external database and a user interface that is more con sistent with that of other Bor land products.
For those who not famjl iar with it, Prolog is an ideal language for developing appli cations that are highly re cursive or that involve com plicated IF...THEN control tructures. Prolog can be used, forexample, to build ex. pert systems and sentence parsers, or to solve the travel ing sale man problem. It can also be used for prosaic tasks like figuring your expense account.
In the past, Turbo Prolog has been faulted for not con forming to the standard Edin
burgh dialect. In this new re
lease, Borland addresses this problem in an interesting way: It provides an Edinburgh-style Prolog interpreter that is writ ten in Turbo Prolog itself. Of course, like any interpreter, the Prolog Inference Engine,
as it is called, is slow and does
not claim to be completely compatible with the Edin burgh or Clocksin and Mellish dialects. But over time, users may be able to turn it into an interesting Prolog system in its own right.
Perhaps the most signifi cant addition is the capability for external databases. In the older version, your database was limited by the size of your RAM. The new version lets you store information either in RAM , as in the past, or exter nally, on a disk file. For fast sorts and data retrieval, these databases can be indexed with aB+ tree.
There are also a number of

Turbo Prolog 2.0 

Borland International 
 4585 Scotts Valley Dr. 
 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 
 (800) 543-7543 

Inquiry 852. 

IBM PC or equivalent
with 384K bytes of RAM. A hard disk drive is recommended.
Options: Turbo Prolog Toolbox, 

nice features. For example,
Turbo Prolog predicates can now have more than one arity
(i.e., the same predicate can mean different things depend ing on bow many arguments it
has). One-line comments can

be indicated by simply placing a% at the front of a line. When you compile a program, you
can control how much mem ory it will take up, which sug
gests that we will soon see
memory-resident Prolog ap

Running OS/2 on an IBM PC 

Yes, you can run OS/2 on an IBM PC, but it's ex pensive. I took a look at the SOTA MotberCard 5.0 and the Microsoft Mach 20, 80286 accelerator cards that can run OS/2 . But before look ing at the products, let's con sider what you need to run
OS/2onaPC. First, you need an accelera
tor board that can run the 80286 instruction set (either an 80286 or 80386). You also need at least 2 megabytes of
extended memory. It pays to have 3.megabytes , since many OS/2 programs require that much memory (Paradox OS/2, for example) . Finally, you need a high-capacity 5 1.4

inch or l .44-megabyte 3 Yi · inch floppy disk drive to load OS/2 software.
Adding these features to your PC is a formidable invest ment. With SOTA's Mother Card 5.0 , it will cost you around $2000. At first glance, Microsoft's Mach 20 seems
cheaper, but if you want 3 megabytes of memory and a high-capacity drive, the Mach 20 system will cost as much as , if not more than, the Mother Card 5.0 setup. In adrution to the hardware, you'll have to buy OS/2. If you're using the Mach 20, you'll have to up grade to DOS 3.2 if you want to use high-capacity or 31.h  inch drives.

plications . And it is now possi ble for other languages to call Turbo Prolog routines . Of course, all these additions take up code space; the pro gram has grown to the point where you pretty much have to have a hard disk drive.
There is almost no change in performance: The new ver sion was about l percent slower in running my traveling salesman program than the previous version. But the exe
cutable file ofthe program was 2 percent smaller and 3 per
cent faster than that on the older version.
As for documentation, the new Turbo Prolog comes in a two-volume package similar to that of Turbo C . The new version has roughly four times the amount of documentation provided by the old version's single 200-page manual. Much of this is used to de  scribe the new features added , but the extra space also lets the documentation writers go into more detail on elementary as pects of the language.
If you ' re interested in Pro log and you haven't tried Turbo, you're in for a treat. A warning, though: Once you get the hang of it, Turbo Pro log can be very addicting.
SOTA's MotherCard 5.0 comes in 10- MHz and 12 MHz configurations with I megabyte of RAM ($895 and $995, respectively). An addi tional DaughterCard, which installs on the MotherCard, is available with l or 2 mega bytes of RAM (the 10-MHz Daught.erCard with 2 mega bytes costs $895, and the 12 MHz version costs $995) . The MotherCard 5.0 is essentially an IBM PC AT on an expan sion board . It has its own real t i me clock and an 80287 socket, and it supports mono chrome, CGA, and EGA. The DaughterCard uses 256K-bit single in-line memory mod



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SOTA MotherCard 5.0: $995 for 12-MHz version; $895 for 10-MHz version SOTA DaughterCard: $995 for 12-MHz ver ion with 2 megabytes of RAM; $895 for IO-MHz version with 2 megabytes of RAM Floppy 1/0 Plus multimedia controller: $149
Requireme111s: IBM PC or compatible with 64K bytes of RAM and DOS 3. 1
SITTA Technology, Inc.
657 North Pastoria Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (408) 245-3366 
 loquiry 853. 

ules (SlMMs) and supports !  megabit SIMM for expan ion up to 8 megabytes .
My test unh was a 12-MHz version with the 2-roegabyte DaughterCard. lo addition SOTA provided its Floppy UO Plus controller and two 1.2 megabyte 5 \4- inch floppy di k drives, which you would have to purchase separately. The Floppy UO Plus control ler al o upport 3 'h-inch floppy disk drives or a combi nation of drive types and runs under DOS 3.1 or higher.
The SITTA MotherCard 5.0 runs only IBM OS/2. At the time ofthis writing, itdoes not support the Microsoft SDK (Software Developer's Kit) version ofOS/2. The Mother Card 5.0 uses a unique recon figurable BIOS, which lets you install a "patch" to the BIOS to run OS/2. You must also in st.all a pecial SOTA driver on the IBM OS/2 installation disk. Be forewarned that the 5 'A-inch versionofOS/2 is not easy to come by. Most dealers don't stock it, so you'll most likely have to special-order it. The alternat.ive is to get a 1.44 megabyte 3 ~- inch floppy drive for your PC.
Installation of the SOTA MotherCard and the Floppy

1/0 Plus controller is traighl· forward . You remove the 80&8 processor from its socket, in stall it on the MotherCard, and plug the supplied cable i.nto the
8088 socket. Nexc, remove !he
existing floppy di kdrive con
troller and install the Floppy l/O Plus controller and the new disk drives, if necessary.
After installation, you boot up in 80286 mode and run the company's Setup and software installation programs to in stall the OS/2 patches. You can use your exi ting system board memory as a RAM disk or for disk caching, using SOTA's supplied Expanded Memory Specification (EMS)
and disk-<:aching drivers. I ran OS/2 on the Mother
Card with no problems . l tried Paradox OS/2 and ran multi ple tasks and the DOS-<:om patibi lity window . The 12 MHz version of the Mother Card offered fa ter perfor mance than our MicroServe 10-MHz AT clone. I ran BYTE's 80286 benchmark , and they all ran faster than on the AT clone.
The SITTA MotherCard 5.0 i a well-engineered and ele gant solution for running OS/2 on a PC. Although the Moth erCard is very easy to install , one weakness of the package is SITTA's user manual , which doesn't clearly explain how to run the software installation . An important step i running the Setup program to deter· mine the memory configura tion and the types of floppy di k drives you're u ing. Un fortunately , this step i not mentioned in the user manu aI. But aside from the large ex
pense, I would recommend in talling the MotherCard 5.0io a PC.
The Mach 20 setup for OS/2 consists of three components: the Mach 20 board , which i an B· MHz half-length 80286 accelerator card; the Memory Plus option; and the Disk Plus floppy disk controller card . These three components con nect together and requjre only a single slot. Note that these three components alone cost

92 BYTE · SEPTEMBER 1988 Circlt 207 on Reader Strvict Card

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IBM PC or compatible
with 64K bytes of RAM and DOS 3.2 if you want to use hlgh-eapacity or 3 Yz
inch drives
Options: Memory Plus card with 512K bytes, $395; Disk Plus multimedia
controller, $99
Microsoft Corp. 
 16011 Northeast 36th 


P .O . Box 97017 
 Redmond, WA 98073 

(206) 882-8080 

Inquiry 854. 

almost $ 1000- and that doesn't include the additional 2 megabytes of RAM and the high-capacitydiskdriveyou'll need. And with 256K-bit chips, you can install only 1.5 megabytes of RAM on the Memory Plus board. You'll need to find , buy, and use more expensive I-megabit chips to install 3 megabytes of memory in your system.
Installing the Mach 20 is not a trivial matter . To start off, you bave to plug the three pieces together, which is a simple operation . Then you have to go through a lengthy installation program, which explains how to set the myriad jumpers on the Mach 20. You may also have to modify the switch settings on the system board of your PC . The instal lation program writes a series of drivers to your boot disk . I made the mistake of trying to use a floppy disk as a boot disk. Problems arise if you later want to change your drives and have to modify the settings for the floppy disk controller. Therefore, it is best to install the drivers on the hard disk drive.
Nevertheless , I got the sys tem running. However, the floppy disk drives behaved

very strangely under the supervision of the Disk Plus control !er. They made groan and grinding noises I had never heard when they were
connected to the original con troller. In addition, drive A's light would go on immediately when I booted the computer and would stay on throughout
the normal POST memory te t. These quirks didn't hin der the operation of the Mach 20, but they certainly made
me nervous. I ran the BYT E 80286
benchmarks on the Mach 20,
which has an 8- MHz clock speed , a.nd it was about 25 per
cent slower than our I0-MHz
MicroServe AT clone and about 40 percent slower than the SOTA MotherCard . While the system seemed to be work ing at this point , I was getting periodic boot errors (30 l sys tem board) and was becoming increasingly disturbed by the odd noises that the floppy disk drives continued to make.
The next step was to in tal I OS/2. Microsoft provided a
beta copy of its special Mach 20 OS/2 ver ion. The package came with a menu-driven in stallation program, and you can use 360K-byte 5 1A-inch drives to install OS/2. How ever, OS/2 won't do you much good without a high-capacity drive , because no software is available in 360K-byte for
mat. Unfortunately, I wa un·
able to get OS/2 to run . l in stalled it on the hard disk drive , but then the hard disk drive wouldn't boot. In fact , the light on drive A stayed on continuously, and I had to turn
the machine off. It's hard to recommend the
Mach 20 at this time. Even in spiteofits quirks (and I'm sure Microsoft will get OS/2 run ning eventually) , it 's not a cost-effective way to run OS/2. You would be better off saving your money for an AT clone. The SOTA MotherCard 5.0 is also an expensive solu tion, but at least it works reli ably and seems to be a solid product.
-Nick Baran


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W hen it comes to writing, I believe in the 3-foot rule. That is, you oughtto keep a dictionary no more than 3 feet away from the spot where you're working . That's where Proximity's Choice Words comes in. Choice Word is an 80,000-word, hard disk drive version of a Merriam-Webster dictionary. And we're not talking spelling checking here.
Choice Words is, in fact, the first electronlc dictio nary-complete with defini tions- that works on an MS DOS computer without an optical disk or some other ex otic torage device that costs enough to make many users decide to stick with a printed dictionary . Specifically, it take up less than 2 megabyte.s of ha.rd disk drive space. Be cause it's RAM-resident, it also needs about 1OOK bytes of RAM .
Best of all, it works within al most any word processor. Ju st place the cursor on a word, hit the hot key, and you ' ve got the definiti·on of that word. Just bit the hot key , and you can type in any word you wish . If Choice Words can't find a matching word in its dictionary , it displays a list of its best guesses of alternate spellings. I usually found the word I was looking for in the alternate spelling list-even when I tried to fool it.
Choice Words also includes
a thesaurus . Although a num
ber of good word processors already have a thesau ru s, thi one is a little different. Instead of just providing a list of syn-
Choice Words $99
Proximity Software 3511 Northeast22nd Ave . Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 (800) 543-3511 (305) 566-3511 
 Inquiry 851. 

onym , Choice Words first forces you to choose the appro priate definillon for the word you want to replace, and then it gives you only the synonyms for that definition. This way , you don 't mistakenly use a re placement word that connotes the wrong message. Or at least that 's the theory.
But the theory didn't work so well with some words. For "continual' and "continu ous," for example, the the au rus provides you with only one definition.
Both the dictionary and the thesaurus let you replace the word at the cursor position in your word processor with any word you select from th e Choice Words display . You can also toggle to and from the thesaurus and the dictionary.
Installed on the 20-mega byte hard disk drive in my I0 MHz IBM PC AT clone , Choice Words usually re  sponded in about 2 seconds (when the spelling was cor rect) to about 5 seconds (when the pelling wa wrong). Al · though that's probably faster than anyone can find a word in a printed dictionary, there is a trade-off: The definitions are roughly equivalent to an ab· breviated "pocket" dictio nary. Given that the program uses less than 2 megabytes of drive space, that trade-off is a fair one.
A ide from the thesaurus' occasional lack of definitions , I like Choice Words, and at a cost ofon!y $99, I recommend the program.
-Dennis Allen
Requirements: · IBM PC or compatible with 256K bytes ofRAM, DOS 2.0 or higher (a PC AT requires DOS 3.0 or higher), and either a hard disk drive oral .2-megabyte floppy disk drive.

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Konan ' s new Tentime is an IBM PC AT-compatible
"intelligen1 caching" disk drive controller with an im
pressive resume. It boasts 128K bytes of on
board RAM with a 4-year lith ium-battery backup. It needs the battery because the cache i not "write-through." That is, when your system issues a
write command to tbe control ler, the Tentime doesn't end the data immediately to disk. Instead, the Tent.ime puts the data in its cache and when it must perform a write opera tion, it sorts the data prior lo writing to the disk. In this
way, bead movement is re duced (e .g ., if you issued writes to tracks 12 , 90, 8, and 66, the Tentime would actu ally write them in this order: 8, 12, 66, 90). Since lhe bat tery is lhere, even if you shut the system off before the con troller flushes its cache, your data is retained for the next time you power your system up.
Next, you get an optional on-board floppy disk drive cont roller, so you can use the Teatime to completely replace your AT'scurrenthard/floppy
disk drive controller. (The Teatime with a floppy disk controller can handle up to two ST-5061412 hard disk drives and two 3'h -inch or 5 1.4-inch floppy disk drives-360K
bytes, 1.2 megabytes, or 1.44 megabytes. ) I already had a hard/floppy disk controller card in the machine on which I tested the board, so I disabled the Tenlime's floppy section and ran two hard disk drives on the system. I was more inter ested in the board's perfor mance as a hard disk drive
controller, anyway. The manufacturer claims
that th is controller has an 80 percent to 95 percent hit rate on the cache. The controller's name says it all; You should expect the Teatime 10 operate l0 ti mes faster than other con trollers. Does it?
I ran the Tentime through a number of tests and got mixed

results. I used a JO-MHz AT clone with two hard disk drives . One, a Seagate ST 225, hooked to the Tentime; the other, an ST-4038, con nected to an AT-clone hard disk drive controller. The BYTE low-level benchmark FILEIO test (which create , reads, and writes a series ofar bitrarily complex files) and ! megabyte File Read and Write tests showed the Tentime tum· ing in performances anywhere between 2 and I I times lhat of the other controller (Read op erations did much better). However, when ( ran the Core test on both drives, the drive in the Tentime simply left the other drive in the dust . The ac cess times reported for the Tentime were down around 0.7 millisecond-between 12 and 30 times better than those hown for the other drive .
The price for the Tentime, however, is steep. I! says
something when you pay $595
for a controller board and you can get a 20-megabyte hard disk drive for half that much. (I've seen ads for a 20-mega byte hard disk drive and con troller for $250. ) I'd say this is definitely a product for the power user. If you need 101s of megabyte and you need them fast, the Tentime probably de serves a slot in your AT .
-Rick Grehan
Tentime TNT-1050 (with floppy disk controller), $695; TNT-1000 (without
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KonanCorp. 4720 South Ash Ave . Tempe, AZ 85282 (602) 345- 1300 
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Introducing IntusAgenda 

SEPTEMBER 1988 · SY TE 101


Jerry Pournelle

~ ~



Thi s month, Jerry combines his right stuff with the ri ght hardware and the right software
A !though the e columns are a major activity at Chaos Man or, the real work here is wril ing novel , as for example Prince of Mercenaries, which wem out the door to Jim Baen this afternoon. For that mailer, there are two part to writfog the column : the writing itself which usually doesn't take long, and puttering around with new hardware and software o that there' omething to write about, which can be quick or take forever, de pending on what we're puttering with. There' a lot of stuff people want u to examine.
On that score: if you have program you want me lo look at, send them lo BYTE with my name in the address. ln clude a cover letter that tells precisely what your program does, and why you do it better than anyone else . You ' d be amazed at how much stuff we get that looks wonderful but no one can figure out what it' suppo ed to do. We also get a lot of what I call "yet another " pro grams: programs that seem to do the same th ings l 'm already doing with something el e. Sometimes the "yet an other" programs turn out to be real im provement , and , of course , we' re a1ways interested in tho e; but often their advan tages aren 't at all obvious.
Given my hectic schedule, there' no way we can look at everything that come in no matter bow good it sounds; some time what I get to is just a matter of luck. Still, I do work at this, and a surpri ing amount of oftware does get run at least once. Realistically , I don't suppose we

can take a close look at more than about 10 percent of what comes in, but that' s still quite a lot of software, and the activ ity consumes a Jot chime.
In addition to all that, Mrs . Pournelle is writing two books while overseeing the development of her reading program. The Atari ST version of that has just fi n ished beta testing in both public and pri  vate school , with amazing result . All the participating kids learned to read , and the teacher are entbu iastic, ince t.he program allows teaching assistants, volunteer parents, or even older students to act a in tructors. One thing we fou nd was tbac the "rewards"-picture and music- built in10 the program are useful in getting the kid tarted; once they be gin learning the reading experience ic el f is enough to keep them going.
Anyway the result of all these activi  cjes i that I alway have at least three Main Machines here: the one I write on, the one Mr . Pournelle writes on , and the experimental machine to be u ed for put tering around.
In fact, there are usually several more, ince I like to write about tuff other than PCs. A Mac II has as prominent a place in the ystem as my ma in PC 's, while an Atari Mega ST is only one step away, and there' an Amiga 2000 set up in the next room. Still, most of what we do is done on PCompatibles, if for no other reason than they 're what most of the readers have, and they're far and away what most of the software I get is written for.
For the moment, the "conservative" main machine is the Zenith Z -386. Al I.east , it was supposed to be . Alas, I got talked into using the Zenith as a testbed for Unix with the result that, of the 80 megabyte on Zanna Lee' hard disk, there's only abou t 30 megabytes avail able for DOS program ; and that's just not enough , given what I generally keep
on my machines. Of course, the notion was that I'd run
DOS programs under Unix. That turned out to be a mi take . There may be a good

"DOS under Unix" sy tern omewhere out there , but I guarantee you I don ' t have one, or if l do have ii, the instruc tions on installation are beyond my ken . What I've got is a Unix that can-some times- run some DOS programs, pro vided that the DOS programs are very well behave-0 and I hold my mouth just right .
Of course, I can also run tandard Unix programs, but why bother? All the Unix programs that do the things I want to do have been pretty small potatoe compared to what's available on DOS . Sure, Unix has unique features. If you have a real need for multiuser access 10 a very large database, Unix is fine . If you've imply got to have a bunch of u ers working off one central system , it's wonderful . There are things Unix can do that DOS wouldn't dream of. On the other hand, mo t Unix application pro grams are very vanilla in features (for example , almo t no Unix program know about color), they are overpriced , and hard to use. l 've looked at a dozen or more nix application program , and for the kind of work I do, there aren 't any that I'd prefer to what I have on DOS (and for that mailer, I had better word proces sors and accounting programs on CP/M than the tuff Unix u ers put up with) . Mo t PC user wil l not care to give up what they have on DOS for what they can get from Unix .
This whole situation puzzle me. ('ve had a dozen people try to explain why you can't simply fire up Uni x and u e it as the master operating system to run multiple DOS programs, and the usu3l answer is "You can, but nobody ' done it." None of them can answer the next question.
Anyway , the result is that there wa n't enough pace on the Zenith Z-386 to fit all the files from the Kaypro and stiJl have room for everything else· o for the moment , the Zenith has become the ex perimental system, and the big 20-MHz
coniinut d



Cheetah 386 ha been put next to my I wouldn't lose any files, and I would still


have my files on the Cheerah 's C drive.

I had several file-transfer pmgrams .

Moving the Files

The obvious one was Traveling Soft

The first thing we needed to do was ware's DeskLink, which I knew would

transfer all the file from the Kaypro work reliably between the Cheetah 386

386. Since I was sendjng them to the and the Zenith, because I'd used it before

Cheetah, which ha the Priam 330- on both machines. Unfortunately , I had

megabyte hard di k drive, the idea was trouble getting Desk.Link to work with

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D dri e onto the Cheetah's F . That way, ably be better off using LapLink (which

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comes in the package with De k.Unk anyway). If all you want to do is end files from one y tern to another (a op·
posed to running programs on one ma chine when they ' re resident on another), LapLink is faster and more convenient. Besides, they said , there's a new version of Desk.Link coming out (it's now avail able), o I might a well wait for it.
I had a bit of trouble with LapLink , but
it wasn't the program 's fault. For some
reason, the Kaypro 386's COMI port
didn 't want to work fa ter than 56,000 bit per second. It's easy enough to set LapLink for the lower speed- I've yet to open the LapLink manual-and after that, things went fine. The Opt i ons command in LapLink will let you slow things to a real crawl (300 bps) if that 's what it take . Incidentally , I can remem ber in CP/M days when we thought 1200
bp erial-port file transfer werefasr.
LapLink is a perfectly ymrnetrical program ; that is, you can do all your tran fer from either computer con olc. No need to designate one a "master" and the other a "slave." LapLink also has an opt.ion to "transfer subdirectories." This eemed wonderful , ince there were a lot of subdirectories on the Kaypro. Alas , when I u ed the option , I found that Lap-
Link tran fer the file all right., but it doesn't create new subdirectories; what you get i one enormous directory with everything stuffed into it. This wasn 't precisely whar I wanted.
ext thing, then , wa to do LD > LPTl:, which as most of you know tells the Norton UtiJitie to Ii ! directorie and
send that directory list out the printer port. That gave me a paper Ii t of all the directories and ubdirectories. From there, it was an e.asy (if tedjou ) job to
create the Kaypro' C directory structure on the Cheetah' E drive, then go back into LapLink and fire away again.
That worked fine. Later, I found that LapLink does know how to create sub directories ; I don ' t know what I did wrong before. If you go into options and er the Subdirecrories toggle properly it' obviou how to do that- and get it to stay on (apparently, I hadn 't) , then Lap
Link will in fact do the whole job . Inci dentally, when the Subdirectories toggle is properly set, you'll see a big S down near where it give you the COM pore and data transfer rate . Once that's done, it really will create subdirectorie , unless you do whatever it was I did wrong . Trav eling Sofrware says thar while LapLink works fine in conjunction with most memory-resident software, orne termi nate-and-stay-resident programs (TSRs)


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can interfere with ubdirectory copying. If you have a glitch, check that.
Incidentally, LapLink isn't the only program that sometimes has TSR inter ference with subdi rectories . DOS' s XCopy can also get confu ed .
If it a.i n' t broke don't fix it, but in the past few weeks I've received a lot of file transfer program , and this eemed like a good time to test them.
Fir t I tried PC-Hooker. This is a nice
little seria l transfer program that works
about the same as LapLink. It al o has a
feature that lets you create ctirectories from within the program. There' an other provision to let you see how much pace is available on the target disk . There's a little tex1 editor , and it can u e the XMODEM protocol to end files out through a modem.
This is the kind of program that give me problems: if I d got it before I got LapLink , I'd probably have adopted it. Now I've no reason to . True, I like the Add Directory feature, but in fact Lap Link load and drops so fast that it' ju t about as convenient to go out and use

DOS when I need to do things like thal. Second , there's Fastwire II. This
cla.ims to be "The World's Fa te t, Mo t Reliable Way to Exchange Information Back and Forth Between All IBM-Com patible Desktop , Laptop, and PS/2 Com puters." It seemed worth a look.
Setting up Fastwire is simple. It come
with a four-headed seriaJ cable o you can connect to either AT (9-pin) or XT (25-pin) erial port ; I wouldn't even look at a program and hardware that didn't. Fastwire also says you can use the parallel port.
My first objection to Fastwire is that ,
unlike LapLlnk and PC-Hooker, Fast wire i n't ymmetrical. You run a ma ter program on one machine , and a slave program on the other; and the only way to reverse which is which i to start over . You can't change on the fly .
Fastwire's documents claim it will
automatically create ubdirectories on the target machine. This sounds like a wonderful idea. When I tried Fastwire in ubdirectory mode, it did , in fact , do the job; but it only created one subdirectory at a time, o I had to tell it to do it again for each one. It may be I wasn t doing

something right, because the document clearly imply that it can make a complete backup copy from one machine to the other.
As to speed Fa twire may be faster than LapLink; I didn't time the two pro grams . However, Fa twire isn't a lot fa ter than LapLink; not so much so that I'd give up LapLink to have it. In other words this is another of those program that' good enough, and had I got it first, I'd probably continue u ing it rather than change to somethi ng else; but it doesn 't have quite enough going for it to get me to switch.
The nice thing i that there are a lot of
"good enough" transfer programs. I can remember when there weren't any at all.
Incidentally, all thee programs will transfer data using the paraJ!el ports of the two machine ; it' said to be margin ally faster than serial. I haven't tried it si nce serial ports have alway worked fine for me .
Training the Cheetah
Once we had all the file over, the next step was to configure the Cheetah. I


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wanted 10 use the Zenith Flat Technol ogy Monitor (FfM), so Mr . Pournelle could borrow the big 19-inch Electro
home monitor. When I installed the Ze
nith 448 video board in the Cheetah though, the board wouldn't work. Appar entJy 20 MHz is too much for ii.
I was in a hurry, o I put the Award EGANGA video board back in the Chee
tah and set up the Electrohome; Mrs . Pournelle had to be satisfied with the Logitech Autosync monitor. That's no real hardship , of course; !be Logitech is one of the best of the sma.ller EGAJVGA ystem . The Zenith 448 board and FTM went back on the Zenith 16-MHz Z-386 where they'd alway been . Later, I found that ifl plug the Zenith FfM into the 15 pin VGA outlet on the Award video board, it works fine. Now all I have to do is carry this 70-pound, 19-inch monitor back down tai r . .. .
One thing I did find in fooling around with monitors: it' pretty easy to get them all "gaussed up ." That i , if there are stray magnetic fields around, they can affect the monitor. The result looks almost as if someone had stained the monitor' glas front. There' a wild

color patch that stays in place when you scroll the display.
Mo I expensive monitors-such as my
Electrohome-have a degaussing button; press it, and the disp[ay swims around a
bit while the monitor's hardware gets rid of the unwanted magnetism that has in vaded the screen. Unfortunately, neither the Zenith nor the Logitech monitors have degaussing buttons, and both of
them caught bad ca es of "the gau se "
while we were moving things around . (lf you have a bunch of computers running
outside their cases, you can expect thi .) In the past, I've always been able to
remedy this problem by turning the monitor off for a minute or so, but this time it didn 't seem to work. The color patches just tayed there. They weren ' t that bad; you could still make out what was supposed to be on the monitor screen. Still , it was ugly, and I wanted something done. I have no doubt that with a bit more patience , the problem wou ld have gone away by themselve , but I was running out of time.
The remedy was the bulk eraser. This is a sta.ndard item (we got ours at Radio Shack) used to erase magnetic tapes. It

also works fine on floppy di k , which is what it's mostly used for here. The trick 10 using one with a di k is to turn on the
eraser, move it in a spiral pattern up
close to the di k (leave the di k in its pro
tective jacket), then with the eraser still on, spiral it away again . Thi gets all the Jiule magnetic molecules into a random pattern. It eemed to me tbat if that would work on a magnetic disk, it ought to work on a monitor screen; and in fact it did fine, although it looks a littJe weird while you're doing it. I wa a bit a ton ished at ju t how far away you could hold the eraser and till see the effects on the
creen. The next thing was to get the Maxj 
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The easiest to change is Maximum Storage's WORM , because the exact pro cedu re for readdre ing the WORM

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drive i clearly described in the manual. I decided to address the WORM to 200
hexadecimal; I flipped the little DIP
witche a the manual told me to, and put "200" in place of "300" in the Maxsys driver instructions in tbe CON FIG .SYS file. I used the defauh installa tion for the Laserdek 2000. The whole thing took about 5 minutes, and now I
have both CD-ROM and WORM drives . Alas, while those will work together,
by the time I've got a moose and the CD

ROM and WORM memory-resident drivers and DOS extensions installed to
ustthem, I'm down to 360K byte ofsy 
tern RAM . Add SideKick, and it's even
smaller. I did some experimenting with Quar
terdeck' Expanded Memory Manager (QEMM); this is a program for the
80386 that , among other things, lets you
get at some of the unused memory that
sits between 640K bytes and I megabyte.
You can use the QEMM LOADHI com-

mand to put the mouse software up there. Sometimes other stuff can be put there as well. If I sound vague, I intend to: it turns out that using that memory is a bit
tricky . For example, if you instal l part of the Microsoft Bookshelf software up there and then use Procomm Plu , the
communications program will lock up the machine so thoroughly that you can't even reset. Thus, I don't recommend QEMM LOADHI for the squeamish . If you do use it, test thoroughly before en tru ting anything critical to your sy tern.

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Cro stalk used to drive me nuts some times , but I did learn to use it, and it served me pretty well on machines from an early PC XT up through the Kaypro AT, Zenith Z-248, and Zenith 386; but when I tran ferred it to the 20-MHz Cheetah, it wouldn't work at all.
The problem isn't the computer or the
modem. The modem is the USRobotics' Courier HST, and that work fine. It ' Crosstalk itself, which just seems unable to k.eep up with the Cheetah' peed . I'd tell Crosstalk to d.ial, and it would act a if it had; but the modem never got the
message. Crosstalk would then tell me there was" o Connection" and offer 10 try again. Retrie,s got the same result.
That left me with a problem, since I really need communications.
"Try Procornm Plus," Alex told me. It
seemed like a good idea; I'd heard about Procomm for a long time. The original i shareware; now there' a Procomm Plu that's for commercial sale. We had both, or at least I thought we did. It turned out that I had at one time copied my review copy of Procomm Plus onto my hard di k, but then the manual got lo t i.n the general swim here. I'm sure it's no more than 8 feet away from me, but for the life of me I can't find it.
That turns out not to matter. Procomm Plus has context-sensitive Help screens that do about as well as the manuals can. It takes a bit of deciphering to figure out precisely what some of the instructions mean, but in fact it took only about a half hour to get th.e program all set up and
running. That's when we made everal di cov
eries. I had always run Crosstalk at no
parity , 8 data bits, I stop bit, and that worked fine; but when we tried that with
Procomm Plus, Tymnet had a fit. We could connect all right, but all we got wa garbage. Eventually we changed to even parity, 7 data bits, I top bit . I for get precisely what caused us to try that combination, but it works fine.


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Circ/11 167 on Rtader Senrict Card

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I have since di covered what's happen ing . Tymnet does in fact use even parity. If you don't , and thus look at all 8 bits , that can have the effect of convening much of what's sent to you to non-ASCII character . Crosstalk ha a filter system that takes care of the ituation. So does Procomm Plus, but unlike Crosstalk , Procomm Plus doesn 't automatically do it· you have to go work on a conversion table.
It turns out that it 's easier simply to use E-7-1 for Tymnet communication s. I wa a bit worried that thi would prevent me from downloading binary files , but that' not true: when you go into a file tran fer protocol uch as Kermit (or XMODEM, which is what I use), the y  tern automatically witche to 8-bit tran fer .
We tested that by entering BIX listings and pulling out a small COM file; it work perfectly. I've since used Pro comm Plus to upload my column . Work like a charm. I'm fast becoming attached to it, and it looks as if 1he change i permanenl.
Incidentally, Wayne Rash reports that he' been u ing Procomm Plu. for months now and likes it a lot. h even works from oversea .
Procomm and Procomm Plus are fun  damentally alike, except that Procomm Plus is niftier. The Plu ver: ion has had owed window and other pretty displays. It has a nice menu ystem. It ' al o up ported, wherea the older Procomm is shareware.
The best feature about Plus is the con text-sensitive help, which, as I said, is good enough that I've not really needed the manuals. There are also terminal emulations, and the setup is nicer. On the other hand, the old shareware version is good enough for a lot of people. Probably the thing to do is try the shareware-it' available on BIX and elsewhere- and if you like it, go ahead and buy the Plus.
Alex wears by i1. He ay , " I f you use a lot of different machine , th is i the right program because it · portable among ju t about all PCompatibles." I haven't used it as long as he has, but I've
seen no reason to disagree. [t certainly
work when you're tretching the envelope.
Recommended .
Printer Optimizer U
A few months ago, you may remember, I had a problem with the power supply for my Applied Creative Technology Printer Optimizer. It wasn't a big problem, but the people at ACT read about it and they
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Circle 141 on Readtr Service Carel

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Cirdr 290 on l«adt.r Srrvic11 Card

SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY TE ll3


decided this would be a good time to up date my Optimizer, which, after all , I've
had for about 6 years now. (I've never
bad a problem with it , either, except for tepping on the power supply cord and breaking it.)
The Optimizer is a small computer with a lot of memory- up to a mega byle- that sits on top of the printer. It ac cepts inputs from any computer I have at the moment , the Concurrent CP/M Golem, and the Cheetah, but I'm always tringing other cable over to it-and squirts the output into the HP LaserJet or the NEC Spinwriter. On the way, it can perform all kinds of tran formations , uch as ub tituting one rontrol character for another, or initializing the LaserJet before sending it text . It can also put print jobs in a queue, and you can even inter
rupt the current job to send something else directly over to the printer.
The computer thinks the Optimizer is a very fa t printer; now that it has a full megabyte, the Optimizer can accept a
whole novel. Prince of Mercenaries was
sent from computer to Optimizer in less than half an hour. Meanwhile the Opti
mizer is pouring the text into the Laser-

Jet . The up hot was that I had my com puter back in er vice in half an hour , and the whole novel printed in less than an hour and a half.
The Optimizer is one of those g.izmos that make life easier; you can't know how much you 'II like it until you get one.
Highly recommended .
Multitaski ng Once I had the Cheetah working with all hi es ential - CD-ROM reader, Logi tech mou e, modem and communica tions , WORM , 300-megabyte hard disk drive-it was time to set up my operating environment.
As I nored above , it' very easy to fill a machine with memory-re ident oft ware . The WORM and CD-ROM readers alone can darned near do it. Add Side Kick and you ' re finished- and this in an 80386 with nearly 8 megabytes of mem ory ! It just doesn't seem fair.
Of course, OS/2 is supposed to fix that problem , but we don 't have it yet. Well , that' s not quite true . We have OS/2 , but since we don't have much software to run under it , it hardly matters. Incidentally , I do have Paradox for OS/2 , and that

work fine . The problem is that [do n't have anything else, so even though Para dox is an excellent relational database manager, I've little temptation to go 10 OS/2 yet.
What I do have is DESQview. That, it turn out, work very well with the 20 MHz Cheetah except for one thing: the mark-and-transfer program doesn't al ways work . Sometimes when I try to move a few paragraphs from one DESQ view wi ndow to another, I get horrible squeals from the computer, and only part of each line is copied . I haven 't the fo ggi est notion why . Machine ' 100 fast for the software, I uppose .
I et up everything with DESQview, and it works; I'm writing this now in Q&A Write running under DESQview with half a dozen open windows includ ing SideKick, SideKick Plus, Ready !, and Norton Commander. While all those were open , I \Vent to Procomm Plus and logged in on BIX. That worked , too .
DESQview on an 80386 , when cou pled with Quarterdeck ' QEMM , i pretty good tuff. I suppo e I ought to be satisfied with it , but of course I'm not.
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114 6 Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Circlt 291 on Reader Se,.,,i.ct Card


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Cirde 143 on Reader Service Can/



The problem is window size. DESQ view allows 80386 machines to make u e of all that high memory by fooling DOS into thin.king that each DESQview win dow is down there below the 640K-byte boundary; but the price is that you can't have a DESQview window much larger than SOOK bytes. Actually it's worse: if I want to load all the device drivers for my Priam hard disk drive, Maximum Stor age WORM, and Amdek Laserdek 2000, DESQview gets really choked up . As a practical matter, I can run the Priam all right , but if I want my other devices I have 10 dump DESQview and reboot.
That's hardly what I want, so I've been looking for alternatives.
The mo t obviou alternative is the VM/386. Thi is a system that allows you to run two virtual machines at the same time, each potentially as large as 640K bytes , and each with its own CON FIG. SYS file . In theory, I could attach the WORM and CD-ROM drives to one of those virtual machines, SideKick Plus in another, the CD-ROM reader (but no WORM) in yet another, and o forth . Not only would each virtual machine have 640K bytes of main memory, but I could

also assign more memory to act as e n hanced expanded memory for program that can make use of that.
In practice, I don't know : VM /386 won't work with any machine I have. The people at IGC swear this is sheer bad luck: VM/ 386 will work with a Zenith Z· 386, even with the Z-448 video card, but it won't work with the FTM monitor . It will work with the Cheetah at 20 MHz, but it won't work with the Award video board , and for that matter , if I use VM /386, I won't have but one logical drive on my Priam hard disk drive; VM/386 doesn 't know how to find the others. II will work with the Kaypro 386, but not with the Orchid EGA/PGA video board. And so forth.
All I have to do i u e a plain vanilla 80386 with a standard EGA board and monitor, and I can use VM/ 386; or so they tell me. I suppose I'll have to try that sometime. Meanwhile, I' m still looking for a good multitasking system that works wit.h what I have.
Candy Cable
The Cheetah is in a "tower" configura· tion, mea.nfog that it's designed to stand

on end on the floor with the floppy disk drives 111 lhe top. This works fine in that it keeps the machine out of the way, and the airflow i bener than in the tandard lay-down PC .
There are some drawbacks . First, it' a little harder to get the case open . In practice, you end up sitting on the floor when working on a tower. The econd problem is cable . They re almost never long enough.
The mouse cable, for example , won't reach back behind the table, up over its top, and then forward far enough for me to use the mouse. Even with the most di rect route there' not enough slack . The solution is an extension cable, a regular 9-pin male-to-female .
The modem cable, which i 9-pin to 25-pi.n, is usually long enough , but the video cable probably won't be; for that you need 9-pin extension, male to-female.
The real kicker is the Amdek Laser dek 2000 cable, 37-pin male-to-male. The one that comes with the system i far too hort for a tower.
When I was setting up the system , I oa· ively assumed that all I had to do wa go


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116 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER I988

Circle 83 on Readu Suvice Card (DEALERS: 84)


to a local ComputerLand and get the c-ables l'd need. I blithely hopped into the Bronco aod headed down 1he avenue where I'd seen, every day for a year, a ComputerLand ign at a mini-mall where there used to be a grocery store.
When I got there, I found they had a parking attendant collecting money to let you into the mini-mall. I muttered some curse.s and voiced the intention of never visiting that mall again- as indeed why would anyone when there are better shop with free parking nearby? \Vorse, though, when I got into the mall, I dis covered that ComputerLand had been closed for weeks; they'd just never both ered to change the signs since no one seems to want to rent space in a mall that charges parking fees . (Talk about ways to discourage impul e buying!)
I went back home in a stew, and Mrs . Poumelle quite reasonably pointed ou1 that I ought to have called first. This time I tried it: and found that in all of Los Angeles there was about one EGA video extension cable, one modem cable, and no 37-pin cables at all. Now what?
However, one ComputerLand told me that although they were out of cables, I

ought to try Candy Cable of San Diego. It was good advice. I called and de
scribed what I needed, was given some advice about alternatives, and shortly after, I wa through . They make up cables within 24 hours of the order· mine, including the unobtainable 37-pin, came by UPS two days after I phoned.
Mapping the Future
My new novel Prince ofMercenaries will be published with maps. I'd intended to draw those maps on the Atari ST, but there 's been some odd delay in getting an Atari laser printer. I waited as long as I could, then drew them on the Mac II.
But that 's nothing new. Everyone knows you can draw maps on a Mac II.
I used MacPaint. The first map came out quite well, especially considering that the printed version will be smaller (and thus higher-resolution) than what I printed on the LaserWriter.
I could have gotten higher quality, of course, by using MacDraw. MacDraw is harder to use, since what you're doing is manipulating symbols rather than just freehand drawing, but the result is a drawing that can be output to printers

with far better re olution than ihe Laser Writer's 300 dots per inch. There are several commercial outfits that will take your MacDraw files and print them for you at resolutions between 1200 and 2500dpi.
Grammatik III
Mrs . Poumelle has been working hard on a nonfiction book. She ays it's too early to say what it's about.
For most of her life she has been a teacher. For the last 15 years she was the teacher of last resort in the Los Angeles juvenile justice system: she got the kids that no one had been able to teach to read. They ranged in age from 12 to 17. Some were quite bright, too, although no one would ever suspect that of an illiterate.
During that time she didn't have to do much writing, and what little she did was short. Now she's doing a lot more: not only her book, but magazine articles on education technology. The problem is that it's hard for me to edit her work, and doubly hard for her to try it herself. Over the pa t year the writing ha improved a lot, but it was slow progress all the same.


o longer. She recently tarted using Grammatik H (and now we have a beta test copy of Gramrnatik lll). The pro gram come with Ron Bauer' "World' Shortest Writing Course."
When I f irst tried Grammat ik, l wa n ' t impressed . The program tended to natter at me about lhing I already knew. Some of the nattering were inter esting, but it dido 't eem worth lhe effort to run everythil'lg I wrote through the program. Of course I've been writing about a million words a year for the past 20 year , too; maybe it' not surprising that a program won't do me much good.
Mrs. Pournelle, on the other hand loved it from the first moment. Here was a program that really went through and tore up her text- worse lhan I'd ever done-but did it impaniaJJy and impas sively. No one would ever have to see all

those comments, or even know that the machine found o many mistake .
She's been using Grammatik III for nearly a month, and I can already see great improvement in her writing. Her book alway was interesting because of the ubject matter; now it has a much im proved tyle going for it. It ' s been enough to make a believer out of me.
The previou ver ion of Grammatik wasn 't all that easy to use, because you had to ave an ASCH copy of your file , let Grammatik play with it , then rea d that back into the sy tern to edit . Grammatik
m work directly with files created by
most word-processing programs. I've decided to let Grammatik have a
look at my text once in a while. It can't hurt to be reminded when I overuse pas sive voice.
Highly recommended.

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Norton Commander Revisited
I'm not very big on straight DOS shells, those lhings that are uppo ed to make DOS easier to use. Most of them are as hard to learn as DOS , and when you're done, you don ' t have anything, since the next computer you encounter i n't likely to have the utility you ju t learned .
On the other hand , DOS is limited and can be awkward to use. T his is espe cially true when you ' re trying to get a job done and run out of disk space . (That can even happen to me with my 330-mega
byte hard di k drive: I haven ' t filled the di k, of course, but I have overfilled the
C drive partition. ) When you are in a hurry, it can take forever to go through and locate expendable files to be sacri ficed for more disk pace.
I've generally used a shareware pro
gram caJled Sweep-you can get it off BIX- but the program interface is a bit
ticky . and it ha it limits, as r found
when I had the ma sive job of reorganiz ing all the files on lhe Cheeta.h's hard di k drive. Then I remembered we had a new ver ion of orton Commander, and I put that up to see if it would help.
It did. Norton Commander has a lot of features , and nearly all of them are easy to learn. You can use it to cru ise through di k direc1ories- tran ferring and elimi  nating some files , looking at others, and generally getting things organized. Commander knows about hidden file and makes it easy to find and erase them if you want to. It al o make it simple to deal with read-onJy file . I was surpri ed at how quickly the work went.
Norton Commander is intended to be a sort of resident DOS sheII, which you in voke on power-up and leave in place the whole time you ' re using your computer. I suppose you could do it that way . What I've done is et thing up o that DESQ view allocate 400K to the Norton Commander window . That' enough memory to run nearly every DOS utility I need , including Golden Bow's Vopt (if you don't have Vopt, you ought to), and thus lhe Commander's window serves as an ea y-to-use DOS shell. So far , I haven't had any problems with that at all , even on the fast Cheetah.
orton Commander i one of tho e programs that no one really needs , but it is nice to have and it can save some time .
I'm about out of space , and I haven ' t had a chance to talk about Sprint, which i Borland' new editor/word processor. Sprint i loosely based on Mark of lhe Unicorn's Final Word , which is in turn
con1in u~d


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derived from Richard M . Stallman's EMACS, but that's aJI of historical inter est onJy. Sprint isn 't like any of those.
Sprint's strong point is that you can re configure the command to suit your elf. The command system i contained in a table. You enter the table and find a whole series of commands: command you might want to be able to use. Some, like Delete Line, are already bound to a
, command (Control-Y in this case).
Other , like Delete to End of Line, are

just floating free; you can invoke them, but only by using mulliple menus until you get down to where they are. Suppose, now , that you want Control-Y to mean Delete to End of Line, and Control-U to Delete Entire Line. No problem: you merely encer Control-U and Control-Y in the proper places in the table . Once you're through making change in the table, you can tell Sprint to print out a sheet listing all the commands it current ly under tand .


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There ' a lot more to Sprint; in fact , it look s like it' got more feature-s than the next two editors put together. Fair warn ing: my major experience with Sprint wa at Philippe Kahn's home, and he' very enthu iastic about the program. He also uses it himsel f, and the entire Sprint manual- three volumes-wa produced with Sprint. I wa duly impre sed.
When Philippe first mentioned Sprint, I told him I'd heard that it was low . He laughed. We used LapLink to move Sprint from his Compaq to my Zenith Z 183 laptop, after which Phi.lippe built a file about a megabyte long and I played with jumping from, say line 120 to line 12,435. The Z-183 is a good machine, but it's not particularly fast, even for an XT. I guarantee you, Sprint isn't slow.
More when I've had more time with it, but I predict it will be a huge success.
Windi ng Down Now I'm really out of pace. The book of the month i Tom Clancy's Cardinal of the Kremlin from Putnam. Like all of Tom's books, you won't put th is down after you tart it.
The computer book of the month is Richard Maran ' s HyperCard Quickstart from Que Books. If you have any intere t at all in trying to make HyperCard pro gram for the Macinto h, thi is the book to start with ; it makes clear what the HyperCard manuals make obscure.
The program of the month i Memory Mate from Broderbund Software. All those good things my colleagues have said about thi program are true. The only problem is that it's yet another memory-resident program , a new way to eat computer memory. I now have enough memory-resident programs to fil l my computer five times . Maybe by next month I'll have figured out VM /386 and have five computers filled with memory-resident programs.
The game of the month i still Dun geon Master on the Atari ST. I've got the firestaff-now if I can j ust corner the evil dark lord .. .. ·
Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psy chology a11d is a science fiction writer who also earns a comfortable living writ ing about computers presem and future . Jerry welcomes rea.ders ' comments and opinions. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Jerry Pournelle , c/o BYTE 011e Phoenix Mill lane , Peterborough , NH 03458. Please put your address on the letter as well as on the envelcpe. Due to the high volume ofletters, Jerry cannot guaramee a personal reply. You can also contac1 him on BIX as 'Yerryp. "


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Ezra Shapiro



After moving to Hollywood, ou r columnist pits Word against FullWrite Professional


few months ago, I moved from San Francisco to the Greater Los Angeles Sprawl. Why? Well, I've always had

a secret yearning lo become a matinee

idol, and I figured that if there was room

in Hollywood for Howard the Duck and

ALF-good-natured, odd-looking, tact

less extraterre trials to whom friends tell

me I bear a striking resemblance-there

was room for me.

The process of moving was a major

nightmare; I'm still living in a landscape

of unopened, mJslabeled boxes. There

were, of course, the usual computer

headaches. Since I ave the original car

tons when I buy components (a practice I

heartily recommend), packing was ef

fortless and everything made the trip

with no physical damage.

However, sometime during lhe pro

cess, the lithium battery in my Tandon

IBM PC AT clone gave up the ghost. This

is the little devil that keeps the parameter

RAM alive; when it passed away , the

Tandon forgot everything it had known

about ystem configuration. To make

things worse, the computer is equipped

with some setup routines in ROM, one of

which lets you select a hard disk drive op

tion from among 32 choices. This meant

that the machine knew there was some

ort of fixed drive attached (I could hear

it power up, and the little light flickered

appropriately), but it didn't know enough

to actually read the disk.

So I hauled out the Yellow Pages and

began calling some computer tores that

looked big enough to handle lithium bat

teries. I figured I was in for a rough time because the Tandon's battery was rated at 3.6 volts as opposed to the 6.8-V unit in IBM machine , but this turned out to be immaterial-nobody had any batteries of either sort.
Half a dozen places told me they djdn 't have anything like what I was describing. One technician dimly recalled some lilh ium batteries a long time ago, but he knew hi tore had topped tocking them. Three outfits told me to call Radio Shack, which I did- to no avail. I called two computer supply firms, which sold paper, di k , cable , dai y wheels, a nd similar stuff; lhey had no batteries. Two more computer stores gave me the names ofthe largest electronics supply houses in the region, which carried batteries but not the one I needed. However, one of the electronic stores told me about a com pany called Battery Specialties in Long Beach. I called; they had the battery; vic tory was within my grasp.
The following afternoon , I drove out

to deepest Long Beach, near the border with Orange County, and picked up two batteries (to be safe). Round-trip mile age: 78 mi les. Total elapsed time for the mission: 3 Yi hours . This is a big city.
Got home , plugged one in , and the Tandon came to life. Neither it nor I knew the specs for the hard disk drive, though. I spent several hours trying to figure out which option to select by trial a nd error. I knew the disk was a 40 megabyte job, but was it actually 40, 42, 44, or a fractional variation? How many heads did I have (on my hard disk drive, that is)? How many cylinders? o luck. T he drive itself, of cour e, had no identi fying label , and the documentation was written to cover all possibilities. Ouch .
The next morning, I called a friend with an identical machine and learned that I had a type 25 drive . I selected lhat option , and I was in business until I dis covered that the drive had been wiped I don't know how this happened,




buc I was able to reformat succes fully
and begin rebuilding my system. And to th is day, I believe with all my heart that I will , someday, locate the packing box that contains my backup floppies.
Why am I telling you all thi ? Two reasons. First, I'd like to warn you to start building a collection of spare parts for your computer(s), and to make some notes on paper of little things like system configuration parameters. This can hap pen to you.
Second, I would like to express ex treme annoyance to any representatives of the computer industry who read this column. I wasted three days on all this. The L.A. region is one of the nation's largest markets for computer equipment, and I came close to giving up and using mail order, which, in retrospect, should have been my first move.
The fact that none of the de.alers I called could help me is appalling. Luck ily, I'm the sort who doesn't mind pok ing around inside computers, but what if I weren't? I'm pretty sure I would have been forced to tum the Tandon over to a service shop, pay an outrageous hourly minimum, and lose the use of the ma chine for a week. That's just not accept able. Until the industry as a whole fig  ures out how to cope with situations like this, personal computers will continue to be seen by many users as a menace.
Head to Head
Let me start off this comparison of Word 3 .01 (Microsoft, $395) and FullWrite Professional (Ashton-Tate, $395) by de claring flatly that I probably wouldn't use either package on a regular basis. That's not to say they're bad programs, but they're not suited for what I do.
I grind out text, which I usually trans mit electronically. either via BIX or MCI Mail. Sometimes I write lett.ers. Occa sionally, I need a fancier layout, so I pump my text into PageMaker. When I want to generate an outline, I use More or the variant of Acta that uses the More command set. I rarely need headers or footers, and when I do, they're simple one-line affairs. I do not have to generate tables of contents, indexe , bibliogra phies , footnotes, or end notes. I'm per fectly happy to be writing this column using Microsoft Works (with the addition ofWorksPJus Spell and WorksPlus Com mand from Lundeen & Associates).
If those programs didn't exist, I'd be content to use WriteNow, the excellent word processor from T/Maker, or Mac Write 5.0 from Claris, an improved de scendant of the original Mac editor. I suspect my habits parallel those of ma.ny,


FullWrlte Professional ........$395 Ashton-Tate 20101 Hamilton Ave. Torrance CA 90502 (213) 329-8000 Inquiry 934.
Word 3.01 . .... ... ... ... ...... ....S395 Microsoft 16011 ortheast 36th Way P.O. Box 97017 Redmond, WA 98073 (206) 882-8080 (800) 426-9400 Inquiry 935.
many computer users, but be warned that I don't fit the mythical mold of the "power user." For my own work , I take the utiljtarian route, and I reject the no tion of insurance buying, that is, getting the largest number of fe.atures possible on the off chance that I'll need one of them someday. When the blue moon rises, thank you, I'll invest in new software.
Furl.her, the hardware and operating system people tell us that multitasking is just about with us at last oo popular microcomputers like the Mac and the IBM PC . If that is true , it would suggest another reason to go for simplicity. Surely, the model of multitasking we'll have in the next few years will let us bolt imple, effective tools into our systems only as we need them . Why burden your self with ungainly software monsters?
This may seem like a digres ion, but
understandfog your text-handling needs is critical to whether you should even bother with Word or Full Write Professional. In many ways, both programs represent the same kitchen sink philosophy ; it's up to you to deter mine if you need a word processor with running water and a garbage disposal . Both package push the concept of word processing into the area of heavy-duty desktop publishing; you've got to decide if you'd rather purchase two separate programs, or take the reverse mute in and go for a layout program that in corporates word processing, like Quark XPress or Ready-Set-Go!. Some concen trated soul-searching and a long session of needs analysis are in order here.
On to the analysis. I burned myself badly with a column about Word 3 .0 in

January 1987 . I wrote an embarrassingly exuberant preview of the product, noting that I hoped the bugs I encountered in my beta-te t edition would be quelched by the time the program was released for
general consumption. When the product shipped with bugs intact , the only thing that saved me was that I had noted the un fini hed nature of the software in the col
umn. True, Microsoft fixed the flaws and sent its customers free updates, but the features that had impressed me be came more and more cumbersome as l used the program. Sadder and much wiser, I retreated into Works, which has always been adequate and has never era hed on me.
As a result, I was edgy about evaluat ing FullWrite Professional. Rather than
attempting to play with a prerelease ver sion, I waited until Ashton-Tate shipped shrink-wrapped copies to its dealers . The first two copies I received, a month apart, had unreadable program disks. The support disks were fine, which led me to be uspiciou s of Ashton-Tate' quality control. And within the first week of testing, I had three ominous crashes (the cursor simply froze in place) for which I had no explanation.
Since then, I've been unable to dupli cate the crashes, and I have not been able
to pinpoint any pecific problem areas. Maybe I have been witnessing an evil
synergy between FullWrite Professional and my Radiu accelerator card; that seem unlikely, but you never know.
The next warning sign was FulJWrite Professional 's appetite for memory. It is sold for I-megabyte machines, but it really requires more. If you have a ! megabyte Mac Plus or SE, be prepared to
trip your y tern file to a bare minimum
heaving desk accessories and fonts willy nmy , if you want to have enough mem ory to make the program do its thing . For this reason alone, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with less than a 2-megabyte system, which cuts out a majority of Macintosh owners. Not good.
But let's assume you've got a loaded
Mac with memory to spare and that the era bes I've experienced are unique to my system and its idiosyncrasies. How do the two program stack up?
FullWrite Professional has some de cided advantages over Word . Editable
display of multiple columns is much more convenient than the back-and-forth
jumps to get into Word' s page-preview mode; if you regularly produce short two- or three-column documents, FullWrite Professional is the winner. Se lecting items to be flagged as index en



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tries, footnotes, end notes, and so on by clicking icon on an "icon bar" is mucb more reasonable than resorting to the ar cane WordStar-Jike system of embedding control symbols that Word u es, although figuring out Ful!Write Professional' s icons takes some doing.
The add.ition of marginal notes (called "posted notes"- obviously a steal from 3M 's trademarked Post-it Notes) is a plu when editing if you don't want to rip up the original ; whether or not you call it " hypertext," it' handy . Likewi e, edi tors will appreciate the visible "change bars" along the edge of your text that indicate revisions since the last version . And Ful!Write Professional ' system of dividing "documents" into "chapters" sucked into RAM is a nffty , easily un derstandable method of defining virtual memory techniques in word processing.
In day-to-day use, the two programs come up equal in spelling checking and glossary capability, although FullWrite Profe sional ha a few more tricks than Word, including "variables," drop-in
placeholders for text that is frequently re defined. The outliners are different, but neither of them approaches the ease of More , so I'd call it a dead heal. Ditto for file import/export, help screens , and many other features. Both come with ex cellent documentation.
FulJWrite Profe ional will wrap text around an irregular graphic , but this is a novelty for anyone but the mo t pas ion ate tinkerer. And you can't just slide a graphic as you can with Word; you have to create an independent sidebar in order to po ition it. FullWrite Profe sional is more precise, but Word is easier.
Style sheets can be defined and named with both programs, but Word lets you chain tyles into a running format with a smoothness lacking in FullWrite Profes sional . Longer documents flow without conscious effort. More points for Word.
But to me, the most important area of di tinction is that of "feel." Word takes great pains to mask its power; it's very easy to ignore those functions not ger mane to the task at hand. Ful!Write Pro fessional feels more like a big program; you always have the sense that there are menus and submenus and sub· ubmenus lurking beneath every operation. And FuJlWrite ProfessionaJ 's extensive use of sidebars, windows, and cryptic icons adds to the impression of complexity. Word can do fancy stuff, too, but ii comes across as a wolf in sheep's cloth ing, while Ful1Wri1e Professional i a killer shark of a program.
Overall, I have to give the nod to Word as the better program for a larger number

of people, if only because oft.he memory requfred to run FullWrite Professional. I al so like it feel. However, although FullWrite Professional at thi stage in it development is alarmingly fragile and a memory hog, it 's better designed for the per on with tough word-proce sing ne.eds. You pick which you prefer.
But returning to software philo ophy for a moment, remember, these are both programs that seem best-suited to those who want to Jive their lives inside their word processors. Although the accom panying manuals make light of this , both take a lot of time to learn thoroughJy. To tap the industrial-strength aspects, you'll have to plow through the document.at1on and devote hour 10 experimentation. I don't really like lhis approach. I find it much more comforting to have several programs, each good at specific func  tions, than one big program that claims total flexibility. The counterargument is that it 's easier to have to learn only one environment. I leave it to you to declare which camp you ' re in.
You Saw It Here First
Back in April 1984, BYTE ran a special What's New section that parodied high technology product introduction , and I wrote a couple of items. The first her alded two new computer languages, ORTHFAY (which combined po tfix no tation and pig latin 10 produce code so el egant it was incomprehensible immedi
ately after it wa written) and LIMP (an
artificial-intelligence language that for got what it was doing and crashed if the word Eratosthenes was even mentioned int.he room with it).
The other item was entitled "Looking for Mr. Dos." It detailed a nonexistent operating system from a company called Marginal Research , hence MR-DOS. All good clean silliness.
Now, Apple Computer has entered the picture by announcing that it 's building a new operating system called " Multita k ing Realtime DOS" or "MR-DOS." Sound familiar? You betcha.
At present, I'm wondering if I could sue Apple for "look and feel," or at least a bit of copyright infringement. After al I, it seem the thing to do these days. ·
Ezra Shapiro is a consulting editor for BYTE. You can contact him on BIX as "ezra. " Because ofthe volume ofmail he receives, Ezra, regret/ulfy, cannot re· spond ro each inquiry.
Your questions and comments are wel come. Write to: Editor, BYTE, One Phoenu Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458.

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SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 127

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Too often we opt for the pricey solutions becausetheyfeel good, but they may not even solve the problem


t was enough to bring visions of yuppies talking in acronyms , just like in tho e controve.rsial Wang commercials on radio and TV .

The Wang salesman explained to me ju t

how he had convinced his customer to

abandon the idea of a mall, microcom

puter-based local-area network (LAN)

and Instead buy a Wang VS minicom

puter. I knew that the customer had on1y

minimal office aut.omation requirements

and was planning to do a lot of database

work using a LAN with a Structured

Query Language (SQL) server. The

Wang salesman was quite proud of the

way he had overcome the customer' s ob

jections to the sale.

In effect the Wang VS would replace

an IBM PC AT-rompatible machine at

over 10 times the cost. To complicate

matters, there was no indication the

Wang-based network would work with

the SQL database server.

The customer convinced himself to go

with the Wang VS partly out of emotional

reasons. His DP managers were comfort

able with the brand and knew little about

microcomputer-based LANs. What's

more the customer knew that a LAN

looked good on paper , but since he knew

little about LANs , he wasn't in a position

to reas ure hi managers.

The result , of course, was a familiar

scenario. The customer reaJly needed a

network and be got one, with the Wang

VS acting as the file server. But because

the work required of the file server was

minjmal , the VS spent most of its time

idling. At last check, the SQL database

server still wouldn' t work with that setup and the customer never got his database, even though tbe database was the pri mary reason be needed a network .
Finding Another Way
Although it's a pricey substitute for a PC AT, the Wang VS is a nice departmental system. I'm really not picking on Wang or on Wang's hardware . The problem is that many installations are made on the basis of comfort rather than functional ity . Choices made the easy way happen for a variety of reasons, some of which impossible to solve.
Still, most companies really would rather not pay for solutions that feel good but don't solve the problem. The diffi culty is finding the alternative. While emotional decisions played a part in the selection of the Wang system, there were other factor involved.
The customer planned to eventuaJly in tall everal similar networks in areas where be now used Wang word process

ing on Wang Professional Computers. These computers connected to the cur rent word-processing system with Wang's Local Interconnect Option (LIO) wiring . The DP managers didn't want to scrap the Wang computers or rewire their
offices. Thus, the decision was more
than just a question of comfort; to them, it made good technical sense.
Had more research been done, how ever, the customer would have discov ered that there was another answer. For example, the network wiring is compat· ible with ARCnet hardware. U he had fou nd a way to have the Wang computers use some industry-standard network software, he could have used most of hjs in tallation, as is , for a microcomputer based LAN, at a fractjon of the coS1 of buying one based on a Wang VS.
Magna to the Rescue The Wang Professional Computer, a it turns out, will support Novell NetWare



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just fine , if you add a small adapter card
to the LIO network card in the machine.
Wang 's LIO is really ARCnet, so once
you've installed this card , you can use your machine on a microcomputer-based network. Because mo t Wang Profes sional Computers come with IBM PC compatibility options, they will run PC
software. The adapter card, from Magna Com
puter, is on the pricey side, but it's cheaper than buying a new computer and a network card, and you can use all that cable . Once you install Magna's adapter card, you can use the Wang Professional Computer on a Novell network just as if it were an IBM PC.
Once you eliminate the side issues, such as what to do with al I your old work stations and old cable , then you get down to the real issues, such as the fact that many DP managers simply aren' t used to the idea of microcomputers replacing minicomputer and mainframe systems. They'll waste a mainframe on micro computer tasks , simply because they haven't seen a micro handle such an ap plication before. There are a couple of ways you can overcome this problem.
The easiest way is to set up a proto type. It's preny hard to argue with an op
erational sy tern that is functioning well.
In some cases, especially if the main frame application was designed for a sin gle user (and many were) , you can simply move the source code over to the micro computer and recompile it. Of course, you have to be prepared to handle non standard extensions, and you' ll find some really old COBOL systems quite bi
zarre due to the many patches that have
been made over the years. When you can ' t recompile- and
sometimes you can't-you can design the same functions (and the same feel) into the microcomputer version. The results can be quite impressive, because if you design the prototype right, you can im prove response time , a situation that will impress the users.
If you't do a prototype, you can often find equivalent software for the microcomputer. Sometimes you can find the same software , since there is some cross-fertilization between computer types . Often, because each user has a dedicated CPU, equivalent software for a microcomputer or a microcomputer based LAN is better and faster than what was being use.don the mainframe.
Sometimes More Is Better
Certainly usi ng the Wang VS (or a VAX, or an IBM 9370 , for that matter) as a file server is not always a bad idea . If you

 Disc s 

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have a lot of users, and if you have the support staff to handle a minicomputer like the Wang, it might make sense.
A good example of this would be an of fice automation environment with a heavy word-processing load and the need to communicate with a couple of main frames . Naturally , for success in an en vironment such as that, you need to select the right file servers and gateways. Microcomputer users may face a quan dary in such a situation. As systems get bigger and harder to manage, the free dom and flexibility that come with the use of small computers begin to disap pear because individual users can no longer manage them. Once again, the DP manager starts controlling the system.
You've probably seen the AT&T televi sion ads about this trend. They feature two exe-eutives, on.e of whom is equip ping his office with stand-alone micro computers. He's being intimidated by another executive, who tells him in a very nasty scene, "Stop blowing your budget" on personal computers and hook all your users to a central system. This is one view of workgroup computing, al though AT&T bas the perverse idea that the intimidator is the forward thinker in the scene.
As is indicated by the growth of net work installations, there are some good reasons to connect users. Sharing of

SEPTEMBER 1988 · BYT E 131


scarce resources (such as laser printers)
and communication with other users in the outside world are two of those rea sons. The problem comes when depart ment managers have to decide whether the users should control their own work , or the tasks should be handled centrally.
The Zenith Z-1000
One reason the workgroup issue often seem so fuzzy is that the line between microcomputers and minicomputers has

blurred and almost disappeared. Pan of this i due to machines like Zenith's lat
est, the Z-1000. The Z-1000 is aimed squarely at the
workgroup market. It i a machine that tarts at about $20,000, contains a many a five 80386 microprocessors, has a dual bus, run Unix, and upport a
many as 64 users . Zenith says it's a
microcomputer. Clearly, the Z-1000 is based on micro
computer technology . One of its two


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bu es i a standard PC AT bus. You can
plug standard PC cards into it. The other
bus was designed at MIT by the same people who developed the uBu used by some minicomputers and the Mac Il. Thi bus is for th.e proce or only, but it
i imilar to some proprietary minicom puter bu e .
Whether you call it a mini, a micro, or something else , the Z-1000 is designed for user-supported workgroup comput ing . Zenith says it developed the machine for use in the average office. While it' too bulky to fit on a desk, it fits beside a desk very nicely. The machine upports
users with terminals, or it works with a
LAN a a node or as the file server.
Moving the Info
The concept of workgroup computing implies that information can be shared among the group's users . For example, if you have a spreadsheet and a text file, you should be able to send them to an
other user for inclusion in a document.
The concept of personal computing, on the other hand, implies that you have the computer that's be t suited for your pe cific job.
The problem i , there are certain jobs you can do better with an IBM compat
ible and others that you can handle better with a Mac . These machines are not compatible. How do you fit them both into a workgroup? With difficulty. At
least, until recently, that was the case.
Now, there are way . Apple has an· nounced an Ethernet card for the Mac Il; there's the AppleTalk board for the IBM (which will help some); there 's TOPS (Transparent Operating System), a LAN operating ystem that connects Macs, IBMs, and Sun workstations; and there's Lap-Link.
Lap-Link? You thought that was for moving stuff from your laptop to your personal computer, right? Well, it ls, but there' al o a version that does file trans fers between PCs and Macs . For more detailed information, see the text box "Exchanging Data" in the Macintosh Special Edition, August BYTE, page 62. I'll report on Mac-to-PC networks a I get a chance to look at them. ·
Wayne R.ash Jr. is a member ofthe profes sional staff of American Management Systems, Inc. (Arlington, Virginia). where he consults with the federal gov ernment on microcomputers. You can reach him on HIX as "waynerash. "
Your questions and comments are wel come. Write to: Editor. BYTE, One Phoenix Mill lane, Peterborough. NH 03458.


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Some Macintosh software is born great, some is made great, and some is merely updated


f you're a savvy Macintosh user who has also fiddled with IBM PCs, you've probably come to re spect the window/icon/mouse

interface inherent in all Macintosh soft

ware. DESQview and Microsoft Win

dows notwithstanding, you simply can't

navigate around the directories of a PC

the way you can on a Mac.

Unfortunately, for a number of us,

special applications are often available

only on the PC. For example, the number

of third-party applications that have been

written using dBASE III Plus (and earlier

variants) is staggering. Until recently,

inveterate MacFolk like myself were

locked out of that market.

About a year ago, Nantucket Software

improved the situation by rescuing an ob

scure West German program called

dMacIII from the waste bin of bad pro

grams. The program could run dBASE

Ill code on a Mac and read the dBASE

database files that you had moved from a

PC. But it didn't follow the Mac inter

face; its documentation had been badly

translated from the original German;

and its U .S. distributor was weak, to be


Nantucket bought the rights to dMac

III, cleaned it up, renamed it McMax,

fixed t.he bad bugs, improved the docu

mentation to mediocre, and put it on the

market for $295. Its two virtues were its

speed and dBASE compatibility. But

unless you happened to be a dBASE

guru, it was pretty tough to figure out

how to program McMax to create new


Using FoxBASE + /Mac
Fox Software, the Fox.BASE+ people of PC and clBASE III Plus clone fame, have a much better idea, as I briefly reported last month: FoxBASE+/Mac. This pro gram has all the dBASE compatibility of McMax and more, since it also handles report-definition and label-definition files, memory-variable files, and other
file types created by dBASE III Plus. I was a beta tester for FoxBASE + I
Mac, and I've worked with the release version (1.0) since the end of April. I'm not a FoxBASE cheerleader, but the company did a lot of things right with the product.
FoxBASE +/Mac is not a quick port of the PC version. It combines its dBASE compatibility with a strong list of fea tures and a work environment with which Mac users will feel comfortable. Fox BASE+/Mac provides multiple window support on any Mac.
The program supports a picture data type (PICT), so you can cut and paste

graphics into your applications. It also supports multiple typefaces, type sizes, and type styles in any combination you desire, so there's no limit on the aesthet ics of your application. Ona Mac 11, Fox BASE+/Mac gives you color, and it will print reports in color on an Imagewriter II or an HP PaintJet.
You can build input forms for your ap plication using all the Mac 110 tool you're used to: radio buttons , check boxes, pop-up menus, pull-down menus,
and editable text fields. Fox.BASE +/ Mac also includes the standard dBASE 110 tools, such as input validation . Its method of setting up file relationships is similar to that of 4th Dimension and d.BASE Mac. Novice database program mers will find it a cinch to use.
Fox.BASE+ /Mac lacks some of the features found in competing Macintosh relational databases, especially such a
features giant as 4th Dimension. For ex ample, FoxBASE + / Mac doeso ' t have




the built-in business graphics or fancy graphics forms editor of 4th Dimeo ion,
and it also lacks 4th Dimension's host language interface, so you can't write ex
ternal fuoc.tions or procedures in Pascal or C and use them with your FoxBASE application. Multiu er and run-time ver sions are also not yet available. The pro
a gram aJso lacks a full-blown report gen
erator, la 4th Dimension. For a version 1.0 release, though, Fox.BASE+fMa.c is surprisingly complete and well done. It's
also remarkably fast, as in, "You mean
it's finished aJI those records already?"
The on.e fly in the FoxBASE+/Mac oinbnent is the demo version. The appli
cation includes two serial number valida tion keys that you use to install it. One
key installs the complete version, and the
other key creates a crippled demo that holds only 120 records. Unfortunately,
the demo is oot up to the standards set by
the real application , and it lacks many of
its features. lfl bad tried only the demo, I would have returned it to my dealer for a refund: It bombed with a variety of spectacular memory errors on an 8

megabyre Mac II. It also imply hung when I tried some fancy record lookups.
HyperCard 1.2: C~ROM Support, But StUI o Exponential Notation
Apple's HyperCard 1.2 includes a slew of improvements over version 1.1 . The most important are as follows:
· Support for read-only media, like the Apple CD SC CD-ROM drive · Multiuser access to individual Hyper Card stacks through an file server
· Improved search and retrieval capabil
ities , with speed increases of 4 to 6 times that of version 1.1 · Hiding and showing card and back ground pictures using script commands · Write protection for stacks · New keyboard shortcuts that make script editing much easier
Despite all the improvements in ver sion 1.2, Apple still need to improve the programming ( cripting) capabilitie that HyperCard/HyperTalk provides. One important omission is the Jack of ex-

Items Discussed 

Apple Maclnto.m

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Cupertino, CA 95014 

Cupertino, CA 95014

(408) 996-1010

(408) 996-1010

Inquiry 959.

Inquiry 955.

McMax Summer

FoxBASE +/Mac 1.0 .... ... .... ....$395 '87 version . ..... ... ........... .... .$295

Fox Software, Inc.

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118 West South Boundary

12SSS West Jefferson Blvd.

Perrysburg, OH 43551


(419) 874-0162

Los Angeles, CA 90066

lnquiry 956.

(21 3) 390-7923

Inquiry 960.

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ACIUS , Inc.

MlndWrlte 1.1 .. ... ... ........... . ..$195

20300 Stevens Creek Blvd. Suite 495 Access Technology, Inc.

Cupertino, CA 95014

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Inquiry 957.

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Inquiry 961.

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ponential notation in HyperTalk scripts. Engineers and other developers simply must have exponential notation for their scripts.
HyperCard 1.2 wa developed primar· ily to support Apple's CD-ROM drive (which can "play" both CD-ROM data disks and music CDs). I've tested that as pect of version 1.2 over the last week
using a borrowed Apple CD-ROM drive and a CD-ROM Educational Connec tions disk I was given at an Apple show in March. This disk is a sampler of several large and impressive HyperCard stacks. HyperCard 1.2 worked flawlessly with
them, as did the CD-ROM drive (about
which I'Li have more to say in a future column).
System Tools 6.0
Last month I reported on the beta version of System Tools 6.0. I found it buggy and difficult to install and use. I'm happy to report that most of the bugs I found have been fixed in the released version, even though installation problems remain.
When I instaJled System 6.0 on an 8
megabyte Mac II using the supplied in stall script, I immediately ran into diffi
culties. Things seemed to work fine when I switch-launched to the new Find er, but then the mouse froze.
When I rebooted the machine, all my INITs were successfully installed (or so I thought) , but the machine froze again after the desktop was displayed. Reboot ing again, the Mac didn't make it all the way through the start-up sequence, with the screen breaking up before the desk top was displayed. Additional rebooting result.ed in tbe same screen breakup. After fiddling with this problem for 3 hours, u ing a separate start-up floppy disk, I finally traced the problem : I had some incompatibl.e INIT in my system folder that just wouldn't work with Sys tem 6.0. The biggest offender was the SavesDeletes INIT from Central Point Software, which lets you recover files you've deleted by mistake. I also bad trouble with SCSI Tools, MF Keys, and MenuClock 1.0 and 1.01.
To play it safe, I copied my fonts, INITs, CDEVs, and desk aceessorie (DAs) 10 other folders and deleted these and my updated System 6.0 from my hard disk system folder . I copied the vir gin System 6.0 from the System Tools 6.0 package of four disks and then rein stalled au my system goodies , font ' and DAs. After I had completed this ex tended process, everything worked fine. The moral of the story: If you've custom ized your system with lots of goodie , up
co nrinu~d

136 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988


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SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 137


date to 6.0 by installing a clean copy of it , installing your INITs, CDEVs, fonts, and DAs afterward.
Tecmar QT-Mac.40
If you' re like me , you preach to your col leagues on the importance of backing up their hard disks every day. This gospel is hard to accept, considering the low andlor expensive backup aJternatives for
the Mac. I've been using a GCC Hyper Tape DC-2000 tape drive for about a

year, and I've found it reliable when I use the MacUp backup program available from APDA. But it's slow . It takes as much as an hour to back up a single day's
worth of work. So when I got an opportunity to work
with a new DC-2000 tape drive that was supposed to be the fastest on the market, I jumped at the chance. In a month's worth of abuse, the Tecmar QT-Mac40 proved its mettle and its speed. It con nects to the Mac's SCSI port and has

worked reliably with the Mac Plus and
Mac SE, as well as the Mac II. The QT Mac40 transfers data at about 2.5 mega bytes per minute . It backs up data faster than any DC-2000 drive I've tried, and
I've tried them all. You control the QT-Mac40 using the
supplied backup/restore software, which is very good . Under MultiFinder, the Tecmar software Jets you back up your data in the background while running any other foreground appUcation. This is a handy feature that I haven 't found with any other drive or backup software.
The Tecmar software supports file by-file , incremental, and full-image backup , which pretty much covers the kinds of backups you might want to do. The Tecmar drive can mix file-by-file and image backups on the same tape another feature many other drives Jack.
In a month of testing, I haven't found anything to gripe about with the Tecmar QT-Mac40. It lists for $1395, although I've seen it discounted for as little as $999. At that price, I think I'll get two one for my office Mac II and another for
my home Mac II.

FullWrite Professional-Redux
Last month, I complained about the speed of FuJJWrite Professional on a ! megabyte Mac Plus. With that hardware, the program is almost unusable. But now I'm using it exclusively on an 8-megabyte Mac II. The result is editing nirvana. On the fast, memory-rich Mac II, FuJIWrite moves along nicely. And all those fea tures are really useful. I don't know bow
I got along without FuUWrite's note and
sidebar capabilities before.
The outliner is not as easy to use as MindWrite l.1 's, but it's far superior to
Microsoft Word 3 .02's. Add to that its document information tally (counts for characters, words, and lines, and a read ability index), and you've got a great tool for writers. And that doesn't even touch on its built-in desktop publisbjng and graphics featu.res. If I were Microsoft, I'd be worried. For my money, FuUWrite Professional is everything that Word promised but has never delivered. As
long as you have lots of RAM, that is. ·

Don Crabb is rhe director oflaboratories and a ~nior lecturer for the computer science department and the colk~ aJ the University of Chicago. He is also a con sulting editor for BYTE. He can be
reached on BIXas "decrabb. " Your questions and commenlS art "Wel
come. Write to; Editor, BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH


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S~rise. Now you get both in the same package. New Chpper"' from antucket~
Our latest version - Summer '87 - is still the be t· performing compiler ever. It lets users run dBASE· applications up to 20 times faster. But there's a lot more to it than raw speed.
Because new Clipper is one of the most powerful, full-featured development languages ever. And gives you more control over your applications than any release of dBASE ever will. Now or in the future.
In tead of designing Clipper as an add-on, we've structured it as an extended database language that uses dBASE as a subset. In addition to emulating the dBASE language, we've added commands for menus, screens, windows and extended functions. As a result, you get dBASE compatibility and an entirely new level of power and versatility.
And with ClipQer's open architecture, you can write functions in Clipper, C Assembler or other languages, and integrate them into one seamless application. Which helps you create more sophisti-
C> antuck·l Carpor.Jtion 1988. Nan tu<.k<'l is 11 "'gisl er~ tradema rk and Ch1>P"· is a tnodemarl< of N· ntucket COrporntion . dBASE is a registc"'d trademark of Ashton-T..te.

cated application in less time. And by using our full-featured debugger, you11be done even faster.
We also give you source code security that keeps users from dama~g your application. And sophisticated record and file locking capabilities that make networking applications easier to create. But no matter what you create, you don't have to buy runtime modules or additional software.You don't even have to pay licensing fees.
If you haven't tried Clipper yet{ just call (213) 390-7923 today. We'll send you ful mformation and a free demo diskette. Or the complete program, if you'd rather.
But call today. And see how easy it is to find the best dBASE development language. Just get the fastest compiler. And open the box.
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Circk 187 on R.eadtr Stmct Card

OS/2 NOTEBOOK · Mark Minasi



From LAN Manager to device monitors, OS/2's
features let programs and peripherals live and work in harmony
L ast month, I started looking at OS/2's new features. This month, I'll continue the dis cussion, but first 1 want to share some test results.
Recall that OS/2 offers virtual mem
ory to applications. Jf an application re
quires more memory than the RAM available, OS/2 can use free disk space in place of RAM. I tested OS/2 I .O's vir tual memory manager with the simple BASIC program shown in listing I. This program allocates an integer array, fills it up, and then reports total execution time. Table l shows th.e test results for various array sizes. It shows the array size used (in number of elements and in K bytes), how long it took to allocate and fill the array, and then total time divided by bytes to yield a rough seconds-per byte number. the large jump between 400 and 500 elements. Up to about 400, the array
is kept entirely in memory, and the pro gram requires about 0.02 second to pro cess a byte. At 500 elements, virtual memory takes over. As the drive light
was on continuously throughout the pro
gram's execution, it appears that each memory access becomes a disk access once virtual memory is activated.
Granted, virtual memory should be slower than RAM, but look at the differ ence: 0.02 seCODd per byte versus roughly 13 seconds per byte. That's a factor of 650. At that speed, my 80386 is a.bout 30 times slower than a Commodore 64.
Multitasking virtually (no pun in tended) dies when this test program is

running . Pressing Ctrl-Esc to get to the Session Manager yields a Session Man ager screen after 10 minutes' wait.
In case you are wondering what kind of underlying hardware I used to test this, I do much of my work on a PS/ 386, a 16 MHz Compaq Deskpro clone made by
Trillian Computer. It uses 4 megabytes
of 32-bit static column RAM. The hard disk uses the standard Western Digital AT-type controller and a 26-millisecond Priam disk drive. I use the Compaq VGA board (which I highly recommend for speed and compatibility).
LAN Manager
A major difference between DOS and OS/2 is that OS/2 was designed with net working in mind. OS/2's LAN (local area network) Manager is a.n add-on pro gram that brings LAN capabilities to OS/2. LAN Manager brings many new features to Microsoft's networking soft ware. In the process of writing LAN Manager, Microsoft also rewrote its DOS based LAN software, MS-Networks.
LAN Manager and the accompanying rewrite of MS-Networks include many new Novell- and Banyan-type LAN oper ating-system features. Security locks are now user· and file-specific. The system can nag users to change their passwords periodically, as the LAN Manager keeps password age information. Attempts at unauthorized access can be logged.
0Sf2 allows more comprehensive re source sharing. One OS/2 workstation can run a program entirely on another computer. The workstation just sees the output screens and supplies keystrokes. Other than that, the workstation essen tially becomes a dumb terminal. This is intended so that programs like database servers can be constructed. Consider, for example, a SORT command under dBASE on a LAN. With dBASE known for its gla.cial sorting speed, and sorts being disk-intensive to begin with, add LAN overhead and the whole thing's out of the question . Remote execution would

let d.BASE move itself to the server tem porarily, just long enough to accomplish the sort.
Imagine other possibilities: One ma chine with expensive dedicated graphics hardware that computes screens for five CAD stations. Groupware that moves parts of a user's programs to and fro among workstations to provide load lev eling. Or, for the nostalgic, one 80386 doing the processing for 15 user with 80286-based dumb terminals. (That sounds silly, but I've heard of a company trying to make OS/2 multiuser through this avenue. Some clients have even told
me that IBM has told them, sub rosa , that
a multiuser OS/2 is in the work .) There are many other neat features ,
and I'll talk about them in a future col umn. In a few words, the OS/2 LAN Manager is a "fixed" version of MS-Net works , and a welcome one.
Program Harmony
Under OS/2, programs don 't step all over each other. SideKick doesn't mess up a Windows screen. One program's manipulation of the keyboard Num Lock/Scroll Lock/Caps Lock status byte doesn't lead to "surprise" uppercase when the next program runs. This makes OS/2's job of multitasking easier.
The reason DOS isn't multitasking has nothing to do with the 80286 or 80386. The main reason that DOS isn't multi tasking is that it isn't an operating system (gasp). It's a program loader, a launch ing pad that starts applications going and then says, "Wake me up when you' re fin ished." DOS is completely inactive when a program is running. The program is supposed to call DOS to do something like print a character or read a file, but many programs are designed to handle such system functions themselves and bypass DOS altogether.
DOS bypass is mainly due to DOS's slowness and incompleteness-for exam ple, DOS doesn't support video graphics


Circle 288 on Reader Service Card

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commands. (Unfortunately , neither does OS/2, unless you use the Presentation Manager.) If every program communi cated with peripherals via DOS, most programs would have to wake DOS fairly regularly . Every screen write , keyboard read , and disk access would activate it . DOS could then take that o~portunity to switch programs , and voila: muJtit.ask ing. Microsoft Windows accomplishes limited murntasking in this way.
Using system requests to control task switching won't work if one of the pro grams doesn't need to make system re quests (i .e ., doesn't do any UO). Con sider a spreadsheet recalculation or a word processor repagination. Such a CPU-intensive program coold grab the system and hold il. Solving the CPU intensive problem is easy , though: Just add a hardware timer (al ready built into
the IBM PC machines) to force an inter
rupt and allow the operating system to force a switch to another program.
Programs don't always use DOS sys tem requests , however, so the job of switching DOS programs, each con vinced that it owns the machine, is al  most impossible . OS/2, built to run in the 80286 chip's protected mode, can en force th.e rules . It can control 1/0 ports, memory areas, and access to system ser vices. The silicon itself disailows any a.t tempts to bypass the opera.ting system. (Some readers may know that the 80386 chip contains a virtual 8086 mode that allows DOS multitasking . This is not ex
ploited in OS/2 because osn is designed
for 80286 as well as 80386 machines .)
Once all programs are forced to inter act with the system through OS/2, multi· tasking and more become possible . OS/2 creates separate virtual machines called screen groups . Each machine has an en· tire environment: current ubdirectories, screen modes , and even keyboard status. One screen group can remember that the keyboard is in uppercase mode, while another remembers that it is not.
Legalizing TSRs We all love TSRs (terminate-and-stay resident programs) . They're handy . They extend PC capabilities. At the same time , we hate them because they gobble memory, they can't be easily removed from memory once loaded, and they don't get along well with other TSR.s.
SideKick is a prime example of what we love and hate about TSRs. It insists on being the last TSR loaded. Every timer tick (18.2 times per second), SideKick checks to ensure that it is the last one loaded. If it finds another TSR after it , it tries to muscle it aside . This often means

144 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER t 988

Circle 40 on Reader s~rvice Card


that the keyboard no longer responds and the system era hes . SideKick tries to deal with the memory problem by removing itself from memory on request, but it doesn't always work, especially if Side Kick isn't the last TSR loaded or if you're not at the DOS prompt.
What does OS/2 offer? OS/2 has a means to make TSRs legitimate. It's called a device monitor. It's like a TSR,
and it can act as a filter on a keyboard.
Device monitors improve on TSRs, how ever, in that they can request that OS/2 ensure that they are essentially the last (or first) device monitor loaded. OS/2 re jects an attempt to load two device moni tors that insist on being first or last.
Also, device monitors can be unloaded from memory. A nice example of device monitors appeared in Ray Duncan's " TSRs Past and Future: MS-DOS and OS/2" in BYTE's Inside the IBM PCs, Fall 1987.
A Platform for Peripherals
Recently, I bought a new printer, a Hew lett-Packard LaserJet II. The excitement faded a bit when I realized that I would have to reinstall several dozen programs, informing them all of the new printer type. OS/2 reduces this pain. A certain measure of device independence is af forded by version 1.0. A greater amount i provided by the Presentation Manager under l. l . (The main difference between l .0 and 1. 1 is the Presentation Manager.)
Microsoft Windows gives a preview of this device independence. The Windows in tallation program asks what kind of printers will be used . Drivers for the printers that you specify load in the Win dows subdirectory. Then, at any point in the future, you can select a new printer in a few seconds via the Control Panel. From that point on, any Windows appb cations will talk to the new printer; you need not inform each application of the new printer. In this way, Windows is de vice-independent. The Presentation Manager-which is essentially Windows for OS/2- offers the same kind of device independence.
Of course, OS/2, like all operating
systems, seeks to let programs built on one machine (e.g., an IBM AT) run on another machine (e.g., a Zenith Z-386). OS/2 1.0, without the Presentation Man ager, acts like DOS: Applications will re quire special installation programs.
Open System Interfaces
DOS has a number of useful program ming features that Microsoft uses in its programs but won't own up to. This, un-

Listing 1: This simple program alkJcates an integer array, fills it up, and then reports total execUlion time. See table I for a comparison ofresults using different-size arrays running under OS/2.

rem e xamine s v irtual memory, defint a-z rem $DYNAMIC input "array dimension "; ad
dim a(ad,ad) for i · 1 to ad
for j · l to ad a( i , j) - 100
next next
.b$ ~ time$
print "start :";cS;" end:";.bS

Needs /ah compiler switch

Table 1: Results ofthe program in listing I running under OS/2 and using different-size arrays.

Arrayalze (no. of element·)
100 200 300 400 500 600

Amtyalze (Kbytn)
20 80 180 320 500 720

Execution time (MClond·)
0 1 4 7 5487 10467

Time to proceaa
0.00 0.01 0.02 0.02 10.97 14.54

derstandably, makes software vendors jittery, as Microsoft not only writes the platform tha.t their wares run on but oft.en
writes the programs that are those ven dors' main oompetition.
Microsoft claims that OS/2 puts an
end to undocumented system interfaces. All the hooks that a system programmer would need (well, most of them) are available to developers with the Applica tion Programmer Interface (API). Microsoft technical support claims that there are enough APis to aJlow anyone to write his or her own Session Manager. Things that are difficuJt under DOS, like TSRs or interprogram oommunication (to name but a few), are directly up ported with an OS/2 API call.
OSIZ will be a welcome step up for many DOS programmers, bllt it will re quire some getting used to. OS/2 pro grammers will have to think in an en tirely new fashion when structuring code. For example, a word processor is com posed oftwo programs- a text edjtor and a text . An OS/2 word proces sor could be structured as a foreground program (the te:ict editor) and a back
ground program (the text formatter). A spreadsheet could be designed as a data entry process running concurrently with a recalculating process.

OS/2 Tip of the Month
If you' re going to use a mouse, you need two device drivers-one for the whole idea of pointing, another for the specific mouse. If you ' re going to use the Presen tation Manager , you need yet another
mou e driver for it.
The drivers must be installed in a par ticular order, or they won 't work-first the pointer, then the specific mouse driver, then the Presentation Manager driver. For ex.ample, wilh a serial mouse (the MOUSEA02 driver):
dev1ce s dev1ce=mousea02.sys
dev 1ce=pmdd.sys
If you have a serial port, add its driver after all the above ports. It.s driver name is COM01.SYS for non-PS/2 machines and COM02.SYS for PS/2s. ·
Mark Minasi is a managing parmer al Moulton , Minasi & Company, a Colum bia, Maryland, firm specializing in tech nical .seminars. He can be reached on BIX as "editcrs. "
Your questions and comments are wel come. Write 10: Editor , BYTE, One Phoenfr. Mill lane , Peterborough, NH 03458.


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Although still in its infancy, computer conferencing is locked into a niche market


nformation is the life blood of videotex, a catch-all technology
that the Videotex Industry Associ
ation defines as "easy-to-use inter

active electronic services." Adminediy,

that covers a lot of ground: from audio

1ex, which is prerecorded information

delivered across the telephone line, to

computer conferencing, where informa

tion is tored and shared among a geo

graphically distributed group of people.

Historically, computer conferencing

is a descendant of electronic messaging

networks-like the government's Ad

vanced Research Projects Agency Net

work (ARPAnet), which began simply as a

huge electronic mail (E-mail) network.

The first true computer conferencing sys

tem came about as a result of President

Nixon's wage/ price freeze controls in

1970. Koown as EMISARI, it was a com

puter conferencing system designed to

handle the time-sensitive information

needed by government officials t:ryi.Qg to

manage the revolutionary executive order.

EMISARl's success proved to be both

a blessing and a curse: a time-saving

blessing for harried government offi

cials, and a curse for computer confer

encing systems, which forever after were

set up as applications to solve highly spe

cialized needs, instead of becoming gen

eral-purpose tools .

Today, 18 years later, computer con

ferencing is still in its infancy. In adver

tising jargon, the technology is locked

into a " niche market. "

My Niche or Yours?
The number of people using computer conferencing systems has grown steadily

over the past 5 years, according to the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) study I mentioned in last month's column. De spite this growth, however, the report's author, Tom Mandel, a senior technol ogy analyst at SRI, says "Interest in and use of (public) computer conferencing has been restricted to a relatively small fraction of the consumer population ."
That small fraction actually consists of only 12 percent to 15 percent of all home PC owners. Why? Primarily be cause of conferencing's niche status. Like special-interest magazines- Car&: Driver, Soldier of Fortune, Fangora, and so on~mputer conferencing caters to highly focused groups.
The need for specialized information is what keeps niche magazines in busi ness. If one magazine could satisfy an
entire community of interest, then we wouldn't need publications like Golf Di gest; everyone would be happy with
Sports !llUStf'(Ue.d, So, just as there is no one magazine
that covers all the needs of the sporting community, likewise, there is no single computer conferencing system that satis fies the entire computer industry.
Even large on-line services, such as BIX, are only convenient clearinghouses for hundreds ofelectronic niche markets. On BIX, each conference i a kind of spe cial-interest group, a narrowly defined niche.
Given the competition for our infor mation dollar, not to mention our lime, there doesn ' t seem to be much of a chance that computer conferencing will break out of its niche status any lime soon. Even with the introduction of high ly touted all-in-one informatlon system , Li,k:e Prodigy and U.S. Videotel, com puter conferencing systems will continue to be a niche market well into the 1990's.
SRI's Mandel sees computer confer encing growth into the next decade com ing from two distinct areas:
· The spread of computer literacy. Be

cause the use of technologies like E-mail across local- and wide-area networks is becoming more and more a part of cor porate America's daily routine, people will be less resistant to computer confer encing technology . Just as the typewriter migrated from office to home, so too will electronic messaging technologies. From E-mail, it's a short step to computer conferencing. · Simpler systems. Fierce competition will push developers to design mass markel-appeal videotex systems. This will be ac-00mplished, in part, through low-cost access and turnkey software. Most services offer free trial subscrip tions. Such a strategy figures to attract lots of new users because of the negligi ble monetary involvement. The only risk is that of a linle time .
The niche market, however, is only par tially responsible for the sluggish accep tance of computer conferencing. Another factor is the technology's potential: There's too much ofit.
Too Much of a Good Thing Federal Judge Harold Greene, who pre
sided over the breakup of the Bell Tele phone monopoly and continues to guide the level of participation by the "baby Bells" into videotex services, wrote in a March court opinion: "If consumer-ori ented videotex services were made avail able on a large scale, the eoonomic and social welfare of the American people could be substantially advanced. It is dif ficult to overestimate the significance of this potential."
While computer conferencing's poten tial is certainly tempting, those seduced by it have grossly oversold its potential. For example, take the following com ment found on the Whole Earth 'Lec tronic Link (WELL), a conferencing sys tem based in Sausalito, California:
"There are several hundred ways [computer conferencing can be used as a]

SEPTEMBER 1988 · BYT E 147


new political technology . We can use it to end war, starvation, homelessness, confiscatory taxation, and so on.
" With the technology that you are
using even as we speak, we the people
can make this primorclial dream a reality ... and use this technology for good in stead of evil. All of you now reading these words have been granted with the power to spread this good use oftechnol ogy all around the world. "
This type of rhetork is typical of the " tech no-hedonist," a term coined by Pe ter Grunwald, a Washington, DC-based communications consultant for organiza tions seeking to incorporate new technol ogies, such as computer conferencing, into their day-to-day routines. Grunwald defines a techno-hedonist as "a person who thinks a technology, like computer conferencing, can solve aJI the world's problems and walk the dog-all in the same day. A techno-hedonist makes un rea onable claims about the potential of the technology. And when the technol ogy fails to live up to the hype, it sours anyone involved- for good- on the fu  ture use of the technology ."
GrunwaJd points out that claims about the potential of computer conferencing, like the ones made in the above comment from the WELL, are unfortunate be cause "there's a good amount of truth in there, but it gets lost in the hyperbole of a techoo- hedonist' evangeli tic rant ings." (I should note that when the above comment was first entered, it was met with incredulity and reproach by the ma jority of WELL users .)
The "good amount of truth" that Grunwald refers to as a potential for computer conferencing hardly encom passes ending world hunger or the home less problem. However, it is capable of creating what he calls "legitimate com munities of interest." Such communities

encompas both the private sector (e .g. , corporations and organizations) and the public sector (e .g . , CompuServe and BIX).
"It's up to each community of interest to define how computer conferencing fits into their daily routine," says Grunwald . "Computer conferencing doesn 't solve problems. However, it can help facilitate the process used to reach a solution. A hammer can't build a house, but used in combination with a11 the other appropri ate tools it work just fine ."
Although computer conferencing won't solve the homeless problem, it's quite possible to gather several leading sociologists into a single computer con ference where they could discuss the issues, such as homelessness, without the
pressures of academia that are usually as
sociated with their discipline . This is the kind of application that Grunwald sees as a correct use of the medium. He outlines four major advantages of computer conferencing:
· Au10-documemarion. When a com ment is entered into an electronic discus sion, an automatic record exists, unlike comments tos ed around a boardroom. This virtually eliminates the "but I thought you said" syndrome. · Time savings. Conferences can be car ried on with participants across the hall or aero s the world. Participants contrib ute within the confines of their personal schedules.
Grunwald points out that computer conferencing isn't intended to replace face-to-face cliscussions; rather it elimi nates many of the intermediary meetings that take place to simply disseminate information. · Mul11"ple tasks. In a computer confer ence, you can handle several different di alogues at one sitting and respond to each

in like manner. This is impossible when talking in person. · Better communication. People who might never speak up in a heated face-to face cliscussion can sit back and, with the freedom of time, contribute just as much to the di scussion as a more gregarious personality .
Balancing these advantages are nega tives, such as the following:
· Lack of nonverbal commu11ica1io11. A nod of the head, stiff body posture , and fingers tapping on the table are all clues we send out during a discus ion, and they are missing from on-line conferences. Given the absence of these clues , it's much harder to read the intent (and ac  ceptance) of the message. · Lack of verbal clues. Sighs, a rising voice, shouting , and voice inflection are all difficult to convey on-line. · Humor. An offhand joke, casually tossed across the ether, often suffers something in the translation from the spoken word to ASCH. Humor must be carefully distributed and often annotated with some equivaJent of the phrase "Just kidding ." · Flame now/apologize later. An on-Line syndrome known as " flaming" occurs when users think they can yell on-line without incurring the immediate nega tive feedback from a group of people. This usually leads to an on-line apology later. It's a cyclical syndrome, and one that never goes away.
The Human Factor
The common thread woven through both the advantages and disadvantages of computer conferencing is the human fac tor. The critical link, and perhaps the most fragile, is you, the personality be·

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hind the message. lt is a fac tor too often overlooked .
The act of putting your thoughts on line, in a semipermanent environment, might seem disconcerting . Indeed, a state senator I interviewed once told me that, although he sees great potential in computer conferencing, be wouJd never use it himself. Why? "My every word and thought would be a matter of printed public record," he said , "and I'm not sure I'm willing to take that much risk."
To help along the human factor, Wal ter Orr Roberts, the founder of the Na tional Center for Atmospheric Research and an unselfish pioneer in helping to es tablish computer conferencing links with the Soviet Union's scientific commun.ity , has developed several protocols for par ticipants in his computer conferences . Among the most important of these are the following :
· Encourage people to practice using the system. The old adage "Practice makes perfect" is certainly applicable in the computer conferencing world . · Develop a buddy sysrem. This gives newcomers someone to go to when they have questions or need some moral support. · Overcome the fear of typing. Typing speed is of little importance, yet Lack of typing skills keeps people from con tributing. · Eliminate grammatical and typo graphical is ues. Spelling and sentence
structure are of only secondary concern ;
ideas and participation from all involved
are the important factors .
ext Up Next month I'll look at Prodigy, one of the new videotex systems that have spared no expense to address the critical human factor. Such systems are out to appeal to the common denominator of success: you, the user .
From celebrity endorsements to free subscriptions, these y terns are serious about bringing videotex (including com puter conferencing) into your household . And perhaps , more important, the households of your neighbors. After 18 yeat , I think it's a homecoming long overdue. ·
Brock N. Meeks is a San Diego-based freelance writer who specializes in high technology. You can reach him on BIX as "brock."
Your questions and commenss are wel come . Wri te to: Editor , BYTE, One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458.


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tendable to 2.6MB. Plus, there's a built-in
20MB hard disk. OurT3200 has the advantages of a
12MHz 80286 microprocessor, an EGA display system, a 40MB hard disk and lMB of RAM expandable to 4MB. Also, its two IBM-compatible internal expansion slots let you connect your PC to mainframes,
LANs and more. But what's even more im pressive is how we managed to fit all this into a slim, 19-pound package.
Then thereS our T5100. As amazing as it seems, we managed to squeeze a 16.lVIHz 80386 microprocessor into a slim package that weighs less than 15 pounds. To that we added an EGA display system and a 29

msec 40MB hard disk. AS your power grows, its 2MB RAM:can
graded to 4MB. And for a limited·tll·tm&~ yourT5100 purchase entitles you to buy the powerful Paradox 3869 database software for only $299 (nearly $600 off the retail price).
For more infonnation on Toshiba com puters and printers, call l-&YJ-457-7777. And rest assured that whichever Toshiba PC you choose, you'll be getting the kind of power once reserved for cumbersome desktop computers.
All of which proves you can maintain a position of great power without having to throw a lot of weight around
Toshiba PCs are backed by the Extepdroal Ca~ progrnm ll'llHlll;l enrollment required!. See )'OOrdealcr fordelilils. IBM isa ~ t.nldemark of lntematianal Bulliness Machilll'S Corp. Paradox is a registen:d trademark of Borlwad C4np.

In Touch with Tomorrow
 b;lum Anllirn 1n:.. rnmna1U1 Systems DMsm Circh 281 on RLa4~r Servic~ Cant (DEALERS: .282)

SEPTEMBER 1988 · BYT E 153

FIRST IMPRESSIONS · Rich Malloy and Tom Thompson

IBM and Tandy: 

IBM's Model 70-A21

supplies 25-MHz

performance in a Model 50

housing. Tandy's 5000

MC provides IBM Micro

Channel-compatible slots.

Both offer a unique design

for future growth.


.f you have any d.oubt that 32-bit
microprocessors have answered a real need in desktop microcomput ing power, take a look at the trend:

The first 80386-based microcomputers,

introduced in 1986, ran at a clock speed

of 16 MHz . Nearly a year later, such sy ·

tems were operating at 20 MHz, and

caching hardware, used to maximize the

throughput of these faster processors, be

came common. This year, various com

puter manufacturers rajsed the ante for

top-of-the-line performance to 25 MHz

(see "25-MHz Computing Buzz.saws" by

Rick Grehan, August).

But unless your budget has grown

along with yoor processing needs, you 've

got a problem. U you already own a 16

MHz 80386-based system, you must sell

it before you can hope to afford a higher

performance 20- or 25-MHz system.

Worse yet, if your processing needs have

grown so rapidly that they require a system aJready , where will they

and the computer industry be in a year?

Will you have to selJ the faster system

you ' re trying to obtain now for next

year's model?

IBM and Tandy offer a unique solution

to the problem of ballooning processing

needs that outstrip the power of today's

systems . In a remarkable coincidence of

design, both companies' latest systems IBM's PS/2 Model 70-A21 and Tandy 's 5000 MC- feature a removable "proces sor card ." Simply put, the computer's CPU components are mounted on a plug in board. Although neither company would talk about future plans, both ad mitted that the intent of this design is to enhance the performance of these sys tems at a later date by swapping the pro cessor card.
The Tandy 5000 MC provides another significant feature: It's the first micro computer that offers a bu.s whose signals and timing are 100 percent compatible with IBM's PS/2 Micro Channel bu .

IBM's PS/2 Model 76-A21 When IBM announced its line of PS/2 systems last year, it was obvious that the series had at least one gaping hole: Io the progression from a desktop 80286-based Model 50 to a floor-bound 80386-based Model 80, there was something missing: a desktop 80386-based system. This June, IBM lived up to everyone's expec tations and plugged the hole with the
PS/2 Model 70. On the outside, the Model 70 looks ex
actly like its de ktop cousin , the Model
50, with the same small footprint and

154 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Same Channel, Same Plan 

for Growth 

light weight. Inside the machine, the re semblance to the Model 50 ends. The Model 70 uses an 80386 CPU (versus the 80286 for the Model 50) and a larger hard disk drive (your choice of a 60 megabyte drive with a 27-miJlisecond access time or a 120-megabyte drive with a 23-ms access time, versus the Model 50's 20-megabyte drive). The Model 70 has three Micro Channel slots: two 32-bit
slots and one 16-bit slot. The Model 50 has four 16-bit slots, one of which is oc cupied by a hard disk controller card. The Model 70 gets away with three slots since the disk controller is integrated with the disk drive. This version of the

Model 70 comes with I megabyte of RAM that's expandable to 6 megabytes on board, and, using Micro Channel memory boards, you can add RAM to a maximum of 16 megabytes . At the June announce ment, you could get the PS/2 Model 70 with either 16-MHz components (the Model 70-E61, with a type- I system board) or 20-MHz components (the Model 70-121, with a type-2 system board}.
In September, the high-end version of the Model 70 became available: The Model 70-A21 features 25-MHz c-ompo oents (an 80386 CPU and an optional 80387 numeric data processor [NDP]) and a 64K·byte RAM ca.che based on the

Intel 82385 cache controller chip. The 120-megabyte hard disk drive is stan dard. The system board comes with 2 megabyte of on-board 80-nanosecond RAM and is expandable to 8 Micro Channel memory cards still allow you to expand RAM to the 16-megabyte maximum. The most significant differ ence between the Model 70-A2l and the other Model 70 machines is its type-3 system board, which has an additional connector for on-board RAM (providing the 8 megabytes of on-board RAM versus the 6 megabytes of the other Model 70 systems) and the processor card .
With all this going for it , the Model 70-A2 1 ought to be the fastest of the PS/2 line of machines and possibly one of the fastest on the market. To verify this, we obtained an early preproduction unit of the Model 70-A21 and set it up for a com plete round of tests in our BYTE Lab. It came equipped with 16 megabytes of RAM, an 80387 math coprocessor, and PC-DOS 3.30 installed on the hard disk .
Sure enough, with the exception of the color of the power switch (it's now white instead of red) and the marking on the nameplate, you would think the machine was a Model 50. As with the Model 50, you can easily remove the Model 70 A21 's cover by loosening two easy-to access thumbscrews at the rear of the ma ch ine. A quick glance through the support bracket (which holds the disk drives) reveals the 32-bit nature of the beast: an 80386 CPU.
IBM has done con iderable chip inte gration, distiJling most of the compo nents that make up a Model 80 system board to fit a Model SO system board and adding a caching system at the same time. Nevertheless, it seems to have been a tight fit: Several chips have been placed on tiny daughterboards that rise up verti cally from the system board.
The PS/2 system design makes it easy to disassemble the computer to repl.ace or get a good look at a particular compo

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 155


nent. It took only moments to unplug the di k drives, pop up seven snaps, and re move the support bracket to expose the ystem board and processor card (see photo 1) . Located near the processor card are four memory modules that clo ely resemble single in-line memory modules (SIMMs). Each memory mod ule clip into a socket on tbe system board and is packed with chips on both ide . Forthe Model 70-A2 l, each mod

ule contains 2 megabytes of 80-ns parity checked RAM. The preproduction sy  tern came stuffed with the maximum 8 megabytes, but it will ship with just one module, or 2 megabytes, of RAM . You can buy additional 2-megabyte memory module for $1495, a reasonable pdce considering today's memory market. The additional 8 megabytes of RAM on
the preproduction unit were provided by a 32-bit Micro Channel memory care!.

Photo]: The iriside ofthe IBM Model 70-A21. At the front, mounted on four white brackets, is the removable processor card. The 80386 CPU, 80387 NDP (ifpresent), 82385 cache controller chip, and 64K byres ofcache RAM are located on this card. Immediately to the left ofthe processor card is 8 megabytes ofSIMM-mounted system-board RAM.

Table 1: The perfonnance ofa preproduction IBM Model 70-A2J compared
with other 25-MHz 80386-based microcompwers. While not as fast as the Everex system, the Model 70-A21 was faster than rhe Compaq Deskpro
386125 in certain tests.



Evereit Step

Compa.q Deakpro 388/25

IBM Model 70-A21

Matrix String Move
Byte-wide Word -wi d e :
Odd ·bnd . Even ·bnd . Sieve

80.4 1 40.26 73 .65 84 .39

20.01 8.02 15.25 11.44

Note: V&rsion I.1 Sm9l-C bencMw1<s ussd umes a1e 11 51!COOds.

25.65 12.51 15.25 11.45

23 .69 9.47 15.24

Four clips hold the processor card, which contains ihe 80386, an 80387 socket, an 82385 cache controller. and 64K bytes of 30-n cache RAM. The 82385 implements a write-through cache (i.e., as the processor write to RAM , the cache controller writes to both its cache and sy tem memory to keep the two identical), and IBM used some spe
cial hardware to double the cache size from 32K to 64K bytes.
To remove the processor card, you
simply unfasten the clips and gentJy un plug the cud from its socket on the sys tem board. One nice thing about this ar rangement is that it makes the elevated 80387 socket easier to reach. You open the Model 70's hood, remove a disk ddve from the support bracket , and plug the 80387 into its socket. IBM says that a 25 MHz math processor shouJd be available by the time the Model 70-A2 l hips. But be prepared for the hefty price: $2395.
When we turned the system on, it was quite impressive to watch the memory check display ripple through all 16 mega byte of memory. aturally, under DOS 3.30, the system saw only 640K bytes of RAM , and the hard disk was divided into four 32-megabyte partitions. We didn't run any software compatibility tests; after all, this is the machine that sets the standard by which all oftware and hard ware compatibility is measured. We did open the hood and try an as ortment of Micro Channel cards in the slots: a Ven Tel 24/2 2400-bit-per-second modem card, a USRobotics Courier 2400/PS 2400-bps modem card, and an IBM high resolution 8514/A display card. When the system was turned on, the Program
mable Option Select (POS) software on the reference floppy di k drive detected the new cards in the slots and went through its configuration sequence to in tegrate the cards into the system. This process went smoothly, and the cards worked reliably, as expe.cted .
Handy t.ip: Copy the .ADF option file from the floppy di k upplied with a ex pansion card to your reference floppy disk before addjng it to the system. Thi way, you'll only have 10 go through the configuration equence once. Other wise, you can only configure the cards that have option file on the reference floppy, reboot, copy the option file from each card' floppy to the reference floppy, reboot , and finally configure the
remaining ca.rds into the system. While POS is supposed to eliminate fiddling with jumpers to et a card ' s addres space or interrupt · it can in ome cir cumstances make getting the system
started a major headache.

156 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988


Of course, the most important feature
of the Model 70's class is its perfor mance. We ran version I . I of the BYTE Small-C benchmark on the Model 70 A2 I to measure this capability. Since we
were working witb a preproduction model, we used only the CPU bench marks. Tbe results shown in table I indicate that the Model 70-A2 l i indeed the fastest of the IBM line. Compared to the rest of the market, the Model 70-A21 wasn't the fastest 25-MHz system, and, in some instances, it was slower than cer tain 20-MHz systems, including those from Advanced Logic Research , Com paq, and Dell.

31h-inch floppy and hard disk drives.
You switch on the computer's power by pressing a green button on the front panel of the machine. A small hardware reset
button , located on the left side of the front panel, makes recovery from partic ularly nasty system crashes (tbe type that won't respond to the Ctrl-Alt-Del key combination) painless. Why thi handy feature has never appeared on many
other systems is a my tery to us.

Of course, the most interesting part of the 5000 MC lies within the system cover. You'll need aPhillips-head screw driver to remove the three screws that fasten the cover to the backplane; we miss the handy thumbscrews on the IBM PS/2 systems. Inside, you'll find a wide variety of slots (photo 2): a "CPU slot"
for the processor card, five IBM Micro
Channel-compatible slots (two 32-bit

Tandy'sSOOO MC
Like a brash Texas oilman at a New York society ball, Tandy chairman John Roach surprised everyone la t year by announcing that Tandy oould easily over come any technical or legal obstacles to cloning IBM's new Micro Channel archi tecture (MCA). This year, with the intro ductJon of its high-end performer, the Tandy 5000 MC, the company put its money on the line.
Why duplicate the IBM Micro Chan nel? Tandy gave the same reasons IBM did when it first introduced the bus: It has a higher bandwidth and can support multiple processors. Of course, most of the Micro Channel's potential has yet to be realized, but that should change as multitasking operating systems such as OS/2 begin to dominate the market. At any rate, Tandy is betting- like IBM that at some point having this bus archi tecture in its machines will prove to be worthwhile .
Even on its specifications alone, the new Tandy system is quite a tempting machine. The system features a 20-MHz 80386 processor with a 32K-byte cache, a 1.44-megabyte 3'h· inch floppy dis.k drive, VGA-compatible graphics, and five IBM MCA-compatible slot . It is, of course, the first IBM MCA-compatible system to become available on the mar ket, and it is also the least expensive sys· tern of its type at a base price of $4999. And for a brief time-until the IBM Model 70-A21 became ava.ilable- it was
also the fastest IBM MCA-compatible system on the market .
The Tandy 5000 MC comes in an en closure that's slightly larger than a~ IBM PS/2 Model :50. But, unlike the Model 50 , it has room for four user-accessible storage devices, including two half height 5 1.4 -inch - style devices. This allows you to add a 5 1.4-inch floppy disk drive and tape cartridge unit , as well as

Photo 2: The inside ofthe Tandy 5000 MC. Upper lefr: a Tandy system memory board. The board holds 2 or 8 megabytes ofRAM, depending on the density ofthe RAM SIMM.s mounted on rhe board. Cemer: The processor card, with 80386 CPU, 82385 cache controller chip, marh coprocessor socket, and 32K bytes ofcache RAM. Right: the 5000 MC chassis and system board: (a) the "CPU slot" for the
proce.ssor card0 (b) 32-bit IBM MCA- compatible slot.s1(c)16-bit IBM MCA - compaJible slots; and (d) 32-bit system memory slots.

Table 2: The performance ofa preproduction Tandy 5000 MC compared with other 20-MHz 80386-based microcomputers. The 5000 MC was the fastest 20-MHz system we've looked at.







Model eo.111 DesJcpro



Matrix String Move
Byte-wide Wo rd -wi d e:
Odd·bnd. Even-bnd. Sieve Sort

73.65 84.39

39.5 1
39 .09 19.66 29.1 1 3 3 . 11

Nol·: Veraoo 1.1 Smafl·C ba/1chmarl<S used. All t11MS rue in seconds

3 .06
2 6 . 11
3 1.0 1 13 .0 7 23. 18 26 .89

3 .0 4
23 .6 5
29. 62 11 .85 19 .10 14 .3 6

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 157

Tandy's 1000 Learns to Speak and Listen

" M eel George Jetson... . " Thus spake the newest Tandy sys tem . Or rather, thus sang the systems. A few weeks ago, Tandy introduced l\l.'O new versions of its popular Tandy 1000 line. lo addition to a number of other features, the new ystems fe.ature analog/digital circuitry tbat allows
them to digltize and replay sounds and
music.. As in the above case of the theme ong from the TV show "The Jetsons, "
it can even play back music digitized on other hardware-on a Macintosh, for
example. Both systems are replacements for
previous low-end systems from Tandy. The new Tandy 1000 SL replaces the 2 year-old 1000 SX, and the new 1000 TL replaces the Tandy 1000 TX. The sound capability i clearly th.e most OOlJlble
feature that the new systems share, but . there are a number of other interesting
features as well.
Like Tandy's entry·level 1000 HX, ihe new systems have a ROM drive that
includes OOS. But while the HX has
only 128K bytes of ROM, the new SL and TL ea<.:h have SI 2K bytes. The ROM i used to store a number of things, including DOS 3.3, a new ver

sion of Tandy's DeskMate integrated software, and even a spelling dictio nary. The advantage of having DOS on a ROM chip i that you can boot up the system without worrying
about finding a system di k and the time it rakes to load the system from the di k.
Both systems also have better video interfaces. Like the Leading Edge Model D, the Tandy systems now sup port Hercules-style graphics when con nected to a low-cost monochrome moni tor. And if you attach a CGA color monitor, the systems will display a resolution of 640 by 200 pixels by 16
colors. A number of lesser details include an
AT-compatible IOI -key keyboard. On the back panel , Tandy bas finally in cluded a serial port as standard equip ment. Inside, each system bas five PC tyle expansion lots, but each slot foUows in the Tandy 1000 tradition of being only 10 inches long.
As fot software, Tandy has included with the system a new version of Desk Mate . This version has a number of new capabilities and is more compatible with DeskMate application software devel· oped by outside companies. In fact, for

Two new low-end Tandy systems, the Tandy)()()() TL (left) and the]()()() SL (righl), Bo:hfea1ure new sound capabilities. The TL is displaying a new application included with Tandy's Desk.Mare software, called Sound. The software lets you record, edir, and play back any captured <Wdio sound. The SL is displaying a graphics application included with Desk.Mate.

low-cost systems, the De.5kMate operat ing environment will almost undoubt edly be a very popular alternative to Micro oft Windows in the low-co t
8088/8086 market. There arc some differences between
the systems . The $&99 SL features an & MHz 8086 and a 360K-byte 5 1.11-inch floppy disk drive, and it bas only 384K bytes of memory, expandable to 640K bytes . In contrast, the $1299 TL fea tures an 8-MHz 80286, a 720K-byte 3 1/i-inch floppy disk drive, a real-time
clock, and 640K bytes of memory, ex pandable to 768K bytes.
But clearly the mo t interesting fea ture of the new y terns i their sound capa.bility. Both the SL and TL have an
8-bit AID convener (ADC) as well as an
8-bit DI A convertor (DAC) . The con
verters arc capable of sampling at rates of 5, 500, 11,000, and 22,000 samples per second, and they have direct mem ory access capabilities for transferring sound data quickly back and forth to disk . For sound input, both systems have a microphone jack. For output,
there is an earphone jack with a volume control, as well a the ystem' tandard
loudspeaker. To a.ccess these sound capabilities,
Tandy has enhanced its DeskMate soft ware with two additional applications . A program called Sound allows you 10 record a 30-second sound, display its waveform, play ii back, and edit it. On the preproduction unit that Tandy showed us, the played-back sounds had the fidelity of ounds produced on a Macintosh. The second program , Music, lets you play music using voices ampled or created with the Sound pro gram. One e:umple we heard was a ver sion of the omnipresent Pachelbel's "Canon."
The new ADC and DAC circuitry ap pears to be one more step toward provid ing the popular features of non-IBM systems in a low-co t IBM-compatible environment. Ta,ndy had already pro vided a Mac-style graphical user imer face via its DeskMate software. Now it
supplies sound capabilities similar to of the Mac and the Amiga. It i probably no coincidence that this new
feature has some of the same sampling rates as those used by the DAC on the Macintosh. For developers who are in terested in these possibiJities, Tandy will soon be providing a toolkit.
To be sure, the new sound capabili ties will probably find little use in the average office, but they appear to be a
pe.rfect low-cost perk for home systems.

158 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988


slot and three 16-bit slots, one with the video bus connector), and two 32-bit memory slots for Tandy memory cards.
The most significant feature of the 5000 MC is all its CPU-related parts have been moved to a separate card. This card incorporates a 20-MHz 80386, an 82385 cache controller chip, a math CO· processor socket, the 32K-byte 35-ns cache memory, and a 40-MHz system os cillator. The math coprocessor socket ac cepts either an 80387 NDP or a single chip version of the Weitek WTL 1167 . This card plugs into tbe CPU slot on the system board. The setup is remarkably similar to that used on the £BM Model 70-A2 l, and, as is the case with the IBM system, it immecliately sugge ts that this processor card can be replaced with a faster one. Tandy said that by adding a faster 80386, oscillator, cache memory, and system memory, the company bad
ea ily run the system at 25 MHz.
The 5000 MC comes standard with 2 megabytes of 100-ns parity-checked RAM. All system memory resides on a memory card t.hat mounts in one of two proprietary memory slots. This memory card can accommodate either 2 or 8 megabytes of RAM , depending on whether you use 256K-byte or I-mega byte SIMMs. The RAM on these ca.rds is accessed in paged mode. The memory card is al mo t identical to the one used in the Tandy 4000; only one minor change was made in the card so it can be used in the new Tandy 3000 NL 80286-based system (see the text box above) . If you need more memory, you can add a sec ond uch card, providing a total RAM capacity of either 4 or 16 megabytes.
A hard disk drive does not c-0me stan dard with the Tandy 5000 MC, as it does with IBM's Model 70. However, Tandy gives you a wide choice of hard disk size and controller options to pick from for your system. You can get hard disk drives ranging from 40 to 110 mega bytes using an ST-506 controller, 80 to 344 megabytes using a small-computer system-ioterface controller, and 120 to 140 megabytes with an enhanced-small device-interface controller. Tbe hard disk controller card occupie.s one of the IBM MCA-compatible slots.
One of the things that most interested us was the 5000 MC's lBM MCA com patibility. We used the same IBM MCA cards that we used in the PS/2 Model 70 A2 I : the Ven-Tel 24/2 2400-bps modem card, an IBM high-resolution 8514/ A display card, and a USRobotics Courier 2400/PS 2400-bps modem card. Because of its five slots, we were able to easily pack all three ca.rds into the system. The

Meanwhile, in the Same Case 

. . . The Tandy 3000 

W hatever your feelings on the new Tandy 5000 MC, Tandy seems to favor the size and shape of its housing. In fact, the company revamped its mid line 80286-based 3000 HL into the new 3000 NL, which uses standard PC AT oompatible expansion slots but now has the same case as the Tandy 5000 MC.
The new 3000 NL uses the same key board as the 5000 MC: a new 101-lcey keyboard with the industry-standard layout. The keyboard lw both tactile and audible feedback, but it is not quit.e
as loud as the standard IBM keyboards.

The 3000 NL a.lso uses the same mem ory board as the 5000 MC .
But there the similiarities to the 5000 MC end. The new 3000 NL has a 10 MHi 80286 CPU and seven PC AT style slots (three 8-bit slots and four 16 bit slots). And at $1699 for a system with a single 1.44-megabyte 3~-inch floppy disk drive, it is considerably less expensive. Indeed, the new 3000 NL could steal some customers away from Tandy's original PC AT clone , the 3000. At 12 MHz , the old 3000 i a little faster, but it costs $300 more.

POS software functioned properly, iden tifying the new cards and configuring them into the system automatically. We were also able to use this software to manually configure the Ven-Tel modem card to serial port 1, and the USRobotics modem card to serial port 3.
Because we were unable to reach a phone line, we couldn't thoroughly check out the operation of the modem cards . Nevertheless, each card re sponded to Hayes AT command as en tere<I by a terminal program, indicating that the computer and software were communicating with the MCA cards on the bus. Connecting an IBM 8514 moni tor to th~ high-resolution 8514/A display
card, we got a steady and clear color
display . These tests are not exhaustive, but they show that the 5000 MC bus and the IBM MCA bus are compatible.
We also looked at the performance of
the 5000 MC. Once again, we used ver
sion l . l of the BYTE Small-C bench marks . Since we were looking at a pre production unit, we present the CPU measurements in table 2. lt's obvi ous that the Tandy 5000 MC is easily one of the fastest 20-MHz 80386-based sys tems: It outperformed both IBM's 20 MHz Model 80 and Compaq's Deskpro 386/20. We can't help but wonder how the 5000 MC would compare to the Model 70-A21 if Tandy placed a 25 MHz processor card .in this system.
Two Computers with Replaceable CPUs
lBM' new Model 70-A21 appears to be powerful, slick, and well designed. But at $11,295, you'd expect nothing less. We especially like its small size, even though this limited the number of expan sion slots in the system. If you add a high resolution video board, a network card,

and a modem card to the Model 70-A2 l , you've used up all your slots . We also think the system is high-priced; you can get rwo 16-MHz Model 70s (which go for $5995) for the price of one 25 -MHz Model 70. However, the higher price may be justified if you eventually wind up wapping out the processor card for a higher-performance processor.
The 5000 MC has two things going for it when compared to the Model 70-A2 I : It has IBM MCA-compatible slots (and two extra at that) and a removable proces sor card. While the 5000 MC runs at only 20 MHz, it has excellent perfor mance for its class, and there's always the possibility of swapping that processor
caret The other thing going for it is
price. A Tandy 5000 MC, equipped with an 80-megabyte h.ard disk drive with an ST-506 controller, costs $6999.
Both IBM and Tandy have shown in novation in tackling the problem of how to supply the spiraling demand for more computing power without having the sys tem become virtually obsolete in a year. It's interesting that both companies came up with the same solution: Make the CPU components a.nd memory just more plug-in peripherals. The fastest CPU components and RAM are seldom cheap, but these components should cost consid erably less than replacing the entire machine .
We'll have to wait and see if this open design strategy pays off. Tandy should be commended for its efforts in duplicating the IBM MCA. Again, we'll ju t have to wait and see if the MCA itself pays off forTandy as well as for IBM . ·
Rich Malloy, a BYTE associate managing edi1or, can be reached as "rmalloy" on BIX. Tom Thompson, a BYTE senior technical editor at l.arge, can be reached as "tthompson "on B!X.


eDellSystem 220. ,__ce · thecritics stole th'ewotm · t
out ofourmout

"The DellSystem 220runs mostPCLabs system hencfunark tests atspeeds that wouldmakeyou think
you!re runninga386.JJ

':..the Dellmachine is renewedevidence that the 

pnee of286.h. aseddesktop equipmentcontinues to 

drop rapidly, makingsuch machines very attractivefor 
 daily work underMS--DOS even as the)l holdoutthe 

promise ofnmning 05/2in thefature." 

':.. includes a year's on;site support... in the price ofthe
computer. This is the sweetestsupportdeal ojef redh)l Cll1)J computer vendor in the industry."
"The hotitemftom a technicalpointofview is the 

System 22Q This machine runs a286processorat20MHz, 
 which is its major claim tofame." 


':..dze System 220has moregoingfor itthanjustspeed"

160 BY TE · SEPTEMBER 1988


The reviews are beginning to pour in.
And they read hke a wish list for
every power user looking to exceed the
ordinary limitations of a 286 computer.
The computer everyone is praising in
such glowing terms is the Dell System 220. The first 286 computer with a clock
speed of 20 MHz.
Its totally MS--DOS~ and MS~ OS/2
compatible. Yet it sells for much less than
you may pay for a 386t computer.
Because you buy it direct from us.
Eliminating the mark--ups and mar,
gins of computer stores.
We design and build every Dell
computer right here in Austin, Texas. We put each and every one through
a comprehensive bum,in and a battery of
diagnostic tests before we ship it.
And after we ship, we give you the
best technical support you'll find any,
where in the computer industry.
Our technicians are on the phone
from ?AM to ?PM every business day

Almost any question you may have

about a Dell system can be answered over

the phone.

And, in the rare case, that your ques-
tion can't be answered by an on--llne tech-

nician, we'll send a Honeywell Bull tech-

nician by the next business day
A full year of on--site Honeywell Bull

service is included within the purchase

price of your Dell system

Your Dell computer also comes with

a thirty-·day money back guarantee.

And we back every one of our com,

puters with a one year limited warranty

on materials or workmanship.

For more information about Dell

computers, read the reviews in the trade
press, turn the page, review our product offerings, and call us at (800) 426--5150.

You'll like what we have to say

800·426:5150 - ---






lUMl'lll E R

-~ ---~



The Dell 



Welcome to our store.
We believe you'll find this an extremely
pleasant shopping experience.
Our sal staff is on hand to serve you from 7AM to7PM (CST) from Monday thru Friday.
]ust call (800) 426,5150 and well give
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tion you need to make sure youre buying
the y tern that' right for your needs.
Then you have the option of either a direct purchase or your company can take
advantage of our Leasing Plan.
Once you've made your choice, our
Total Satisfaction Guarantee gives you
thirty days from the day you receive your system, to decide if you are absolutely,
totally satisfied with the product.
If you're not, imply return the sy tern
and ou'll re i e a full refUnd. o ques,
tions asked.
Your D ll omputer i upported b a team oftechnical experts that can be reached
every business day, from 7AM to 7PM ( STI,
simply by calling (800) 624,9896. In most cases, any question you may
have about your Dell sy tern can be an wered by one of our technicians on th telephon .
Our techni ·ans are als H neywell Bull ervi engin r who can
e ent to your office by the next business day, should on,site service b r quired.
This optional service contract i avail, abl in ov r 95% of the United States, with over 1,000 engineers in 198 ervice locati ns.
We also offer a OneYear Limited Warranty,*'* which warrants ea h y tern we
manufacture to be free of d fects in mater, ia and workmanship for one full year.
Feel free to call or write for the com
plete terms of our Honeywell Bull Service
Contract, Guarantee and Warranty. Dell
Computer Corporation 9505 Arboretum
Blvd, Au tin, Texas 78759-7299
16l B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

THE NEW 20 I\lliz 386


20 I\lliz 286 


The mp of the line. It's our highest performance compurer available, fasrer than rhe fBMt PSl2t Model 80 and che Compaqt 3 20. Ir runs ac20 MHz' ich the lare r 32· bit archirecrur . Since ir also has Intel's Advanced 23 5 Cache Memo ry Controller, and high per formanc.e disk. drives, the System 310 is ideal or inrensive database management, complex spread· sheet d velopment, CAD/CA desktop publishing or perfor mance as a ner:work 61e server.
Standard Features: · lmelt 386 microprocessor
running ar: 20 MHz. · I MB of RAM e.xpandable
m 16 MB withouc using an expansi n slot. · Advanced lncel 23 5 Memory Controller with 32 KB of high peed sraci RAM.
· for 20 MHz 0387 cop rocessor.
· 5.25" 1.2 MB or 3.5" 1.44 MB diskette drive.
· DuaJ diskett and hard disk driv onrr ll r.
· Enhanced lOl·key keyboard. · I pa:-allcl and 2 serial por · 200.watt power supply · expansion lor.s (6 aVililable}.
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· 2 MB or MB m mory expan· sion boards.
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As fast as most 3 compurers. at less than half the price-more po'ver for the money chan any other sysre.m_ An 02 6 system that runs ac 20 MHz. with less than one waic srate. ompletely compatible fo r both MS-DOS and MS· OS/2 applications (it runs fast:er rhan IBM PS/2 Model
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Standard Features: · 802 microproc r running
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video controller on system board. · One 15" l.44 MB di kette drive. · lnregrated high performance hard disk interface on system board · Enhanced !Ol·key keyboard · 1parallel and 2 serial pons. · UM 4.0 suppon or memory over I MB. ··Real·r:ime dock.. · Thr<!e full-sized AT+compatible eJCparuion locs. · Socket for 802 7 coprocessor.
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Standard Fearur : · Imel 802-6 microprocessor ru n
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16 MB (4.6 M~ on system boa rd). · 5.25" 1.2 MB or 3.5" 1.44 MB
diskette drive.
· Du;_il di skette a nd ha rd di k
drive c nrroller. · Enhan ed 1 !· key keyboard. · I pa rallel and 2 serial ports.. · 200 ware pow r upply. · Real-time clock. · 6 expansion slots. (4 ava ilable
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A Full Line Of ComputersWith 
 A Full Line Of Conhgurations. 

At Dell, we understand that ev ry busine application includ,

different u er have different need . ing: accounting, communications,

So we tailor each system to the

desktop publishjng, graphics, word

users individual requiremen .

processing, integrated application

We offer m nitor , graphics and u r training.

oard , tape backup , dot matrix

So when your Dell System

and laser printers, hard disk and arriv you can do productive

diskette drives, expanded memory work the minute you unpack

boards, serial mice and more.

the box.

We also offer third party oft,

We can build you the system

ware a plication for virtually

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hassi .

PRINTERS/SOFIWARE. we offer a.fallline ofprinters andpopular software.
Allprinters come with our30-da)J money-hack guarantee.

LASER SYSTEM 150; $5,995. 15 pages per minuc , tex t and fu ll-page graphics. Dual 250 heet-input tra

LASERSYSTEM 0;$3,295. 8 pages per minute, text and full-page graphics.

LASERSYSTEM60; $2,195. 6 pages per minute, tex t and full-page graphics.


Highest resolution text and graphics from a 24-wire dot
matrix pri nc r. Draft q uality at 200 cps. Corre )J)Ondence quality at 132 cps. Letter quality at 66 cps. Standard parallel and serial interfac s. Wide carriage.

PRINTERSYSTEM 600; $499.95. 9 -wire dot marrix. Draf quality at 240 cp .
ar-letter q uality at 60 cps. Standard parallel interface. Wide carriage.

PRINTER SYSTEM 300; $199.95. 9·wire dot marrix. Draft quality at 144 cp .
ear·letter quality at 36 cps.
Four standard fonts. Paper parki ng. Standard parallel incerface.

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soft. M and MS.DOS- dr'<: own«! by Microoofc Corp. fSigmfies regts:1tred or unregisrered cradema r owned by enaaes orher

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I ! AD CODE NO I l tl8

Circle 79 on kathr Service <Ard



BYTE looks at

Script is a simple one. The language de· scribes al I aspects of the printed page

the latest Postscript

text, graphics, and sampled images- in the same way . Postscript graphics opera

printers, tops in

tors manipulate text as graphical shapes, therefore en uring smooth integration of

quality and versatility

text and graphics on the page . PostScript's imaging model, the heart

of any page-description language (PDL) ,

ensures versatility and total i11tegration.

Steve Apiki and Stan Diehl

PostScript does not view a page as a con glomeration of separate enlities; it han

dles the page as a singJe unit. Po tScript

paints the page by filLiJlg in specified

areas in color, black and white, or hades

few year ago , the phrase 
 of gray . " made io Japan" and " com
 The wide variety of possible graphics puter-printed " suffered from 
 pose pecial problem for a POL. Po t the same low-quality image. 
 Script defines operators according lo the

Today, both phrases stand for a consis
 immediate application by dynamically

tent quality that's hard to find anywhere 
 c·ombining graphics primitives as special

else. The turnaround for computer print
 needs arise. Po tScript ' s control truc

outs can be traced to a few important 
 ture gives it great flexibility in combin


ing graphics operators, thanks to the

First, Canon and Hewlett -Packard 
 richness of lhe programming language .

provided per onal computers with the 
 Scalable fonts exemplify PostScript's

h igh-quality output of laser printing. 
 versatility. Earlier PDLs called upon a

Later, Adobe supplied PostScript , which 
 set of phy ical fonts tored in memory . A

let users take greater advantage of their 
 POL from this period could use only the

laser printers. From a beachhead of only 
 typefaces and point sizes that were avail 

one printer just 3 years ago , the Post
 able to it. PostScript fonts , on the other

Script-compatible laser printer has 
 hand, are mere geometric description of

moved into a position as the standard 
 a typeface's outline. Because the fonts

again t wh ich other output devioes are 
 are graphical descriptions rather than a


rigid set of typefaces, they can be scaled

The BYTE Lab looked at IO of the best 
 to any size or rotated to any orientation

PostScript printers . These printers are an 
 while retaining their integrity.

ideal match for today's sophisticated, 
 Ironically , the very features that make

graphics-intensive software-especially 
 PostScript uch an attractive PDL al o

desktop publishing and CAD packages
 conspire against it. The richness of the

and the acute need for professional hard
 language makes for a complicated struc

copy output. We also te ted four en
 ture. Few programmers would tackle a

hancement boards that bring PostScript 
 PostScript program from scratch, and

compatibility to the Hewlett-Packard 
 even editing the code can be confusing

LaserJet Series II (including a glimpse of 
 and tedious. Fortunately, an application

the first PostScript clone). 

program, like a desktop publi bing ys

tem or a drawing program, usually gen

The Making of' a Standard 

erates the page description . Though this

As is true with roo t computer innova
 minimizes the problem of cumbersome

tion , the design philosophy of Post code, it also inevitably limits the Ian-

guage's power: Most application stay within a set of basic commands , leaving many sophisticated features dormant.
The language structure also contrib utes to the most onerous PostScript prob lem : It is slow , painfully slow. Post· Script code describes every aspect of the page with printable ASCII characters. The processor must interpret each piece of information-one piece at a time. Since PostScript works with high-level graphics primitives, a bottleneck occurs when converting high-level commands to actual printed graphics.
Postscript's most laudable feature, scaJable fonts , also accounts for slow speed. It takes much more time to scale an outline font and generate the corre sponding bit map than it would to simply load a typeface from font storage.
The Brains Behind the Beauty
Microcomputer users are about as famil iar with bottlenecks as gla blowers are. We're used to twiddling our thumbs waiting for files to be read from disks or for a few pages of text to make their way out of a dot-matrix printer. With Po t Script printers, however, the bottleneck come not from ome clunky mechanicaJ subsystem , but from the speed of in struc tion processing itself. Forget that your print engine is rated at 8 pages per min ute ( ppm); send a complex graphics document through the Po tScript printer controller, and you 'll be lucky if you get throughput of8 minute per page.
In a typical controller, the CPU is the only piece of intelligent hardware on the board. The CPU parses the command and generates a bit-mapped image
of whatever was sent. If this includes
graphics, all graphics manipulations (e.g., fills and rotations) must be con ducted through the software that resides on the controller' s EPROMs. A bit mapped image requires the CPU to pro cess the page pixel by pixel, and at 300 dots per inch-90,000 pixels per square


Apple LaserWriter llNT Apple LaserWriter llNTX Dataproducts LZR 2665 Dataproducts LZR 1260 General Computer Business Laser Printer IBM 4216 Personal Pageprinter PC Publisher Kit ITI Oume ScripTen OMS Color Script 100 Laser Connection/OMS JetScript Laser Connection/OMS PS 800 11 OMS PS810 Texas Instruments Omnil.aser 2115 Varityper VT600

Varityper VT600

Pictured at right are/our printers selected as best in quality or price.

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YTE 165


Table I: The Variiyper VT(J()()finished well in from in 1ex1 quality, with the Apple laserWriter llNTX coming in a surprising f irst in graphics quality. (lime measurements are in seconds; quality is rated on a scale of I {worst] to 5 [best].)

Apple LaserWriter llNT Apple LaserWriter llNTX Oataproducts l.Zf! 1260 Dataproducts LZA 2665 GCC Business Laser Printer IBM 4216 Personal Pageprinter
OMS JetScript (with LaserJet) PC Publisher Kit (with LaserJet)
OMS Color Script 100 OMSPS80011 OMS PS810 ITI Qume ScripTen Tl Omnilaser 2115 Varityper VT600


Apple Macintosh

text flle

Smell PoatScrlpt urge Small Po1tScrlpt Graphlea

text graphics tex1 text graphics quality



flle flle



Tex1 Wann-up quallty time score

















1582 362












484 131







318 77







473 108












1561 323



310 144



372 95



523 143

, 12


439 93



336 142











3.1 6 7









3.11 1

3 .238


3. 167

3 .619














3 .389



3 .667



Table 2: A comparison offeatures shows similarities in interfaces and capabilities, and large differences in price , downloadable fonts, and storage.


CPU/ Speed RAM ROM Postscri pt Hard Interfaces RHlden t

(MHz) (meg.)

vel"llon dlak drive



Apple LaserWriter llNT Apple LaserWriler llNTX Dataproducts L2A 1260 Dataproducts LZR 2665 GCC Business Laser Printer

68000/11 .5 68020/ 16.7 68020116.7 68000/10 68000/12.5

2- 12 4 3

1M 1M 1M 512K 1M

IBM 4216 Personal Pageprinte< 68000/10



OMS JetScrlpt




PC Publisher Kit




OMS COior SCript 100 QMSPS800 11
ITI Qume SCtfpTen Tl Omnilaser 2115

68020/16.7 8


68000/1 6 2- 3


68000/16 2-3 1M

6800011 2 68000110



3 576K

Varityper VT600

6802011 6

6 628K

FOO'~. a 1s AppeTAI s Is serial, p Is Centlonlx parellel. and d Is AOB.

s... · .AOapeet cards Wete 1esled on a Hewk!lt·Packard LAsorJel

u. lld818ppm,



a.s, d


47 .0


a, S,d




a, s,p



Op ion

a, s. p


49 .2


a, s, p


47 .0


AT. PS/2





PC. PS/2





PC card








a, S, p








a. s. p




a, s, p


48 .0.4


a, s, p


>Sw! and -ohl onclude bolh flllQll18 Md conld!!I U I
· Pnce for ITlll'inuT1 openwno coofigutalion

HP Plus, 0630,
0630, IBM. NEC. HP, Qume. Epson No 0630,
HP Plus, HPGL HP Plus
0630, HP Plus. HPGL,
Tl 855

166 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988


inch-that's a hefty amount of informa· lion. Compare this to screen graphics,
which can limit the speed of an applica tion, where screen resolution is a mere 74
dpi on the Macintosh. Unfortunately , the lowdown is un
avoidable u ing current technology and
architecture. The manufacturers of all th.ese controllers have put real proces ing
horsepower into their systems. All but four of these controllers feature a 68000 CPU: Tbe Apple LaserWriter IINTX , the Dataproducts LZR 1260, the QMS Color Script 100, and tbe Varityper VT600 are built around a 68020. One would expect these four systems, with the advantage of a 32-bit data bus, to
come out on top in our print timings . The IJNTX and the LZR 1260 demonstrated excellent throughput on our Po tScript graphics benchmark, the best single mea ure of controller peed. For the
complete benchmark results, see table 1.
The VT600 and the Color Script 100 can be considered specialty PostScript printers, and they cannot be fairly com pared with the rest of the field in term of raw printing peed. The VT600, with its 600-dpi resolution (see figure 1), mu t

process 4 times as much information as
the 300·dpi printer in generating its bit map. The Color Script JOO, which turned in a very good time on the graph ics test, has a four-color thermal print en gine that is much slower than the typical Canon engine and slow every page sent through it (see figure 2).
The most telling demonstration of the difference a processor can make is seen when comparing the two Apple personal ity boards, which use the same printer and whose primary difference is in the CPU. The IINT, which has an 11.5 MHz 68000, is less than half as fast as the 16.7-MHz 68020-based II TX on the critical graphics test.
Most manufacturers have chosen to live with the performance decrease in ex change for the considerable co t savings afforded by the 68000. lfthe ultimate in speed is not one of your requirements, you can choose from a wealth of quality PostScript printers built around the less powerful CPU . Within this group, Texa Instruments' OmniLaser 2115, the QMS JetScript controller card, and the two QMS 800 series printers have the best processing speeds. QMS arms every one

of its controllers with a 16-MHz 68000, rather than the typical 12-MHz version ,
and the performance difference is obvious.
Next to the CPU, the most important features of a controller are the interfaces it uppons and how well it upport s them. With the notable exception of the IBM 4216 Personal Pageprinter, all the printers we reviewed can communicate through an RS-232C serial port or on an AppleTalk network; all but the Apple printers support Centronix parallel. The Personal Pageprinter and the LaserJet
add-on cards (IetScript and PC Publisher
Kit) have their own connections between the printer and the adapter and require an
IBM PC AT lot. A Personal Pageprinter
controller for Micro Channel-based ma chines is available. A list of the interfaces
that each printer supports, as well as
other features, is found in table 2. Interfaces extend beyond the physical
cable connection, and they play an im portant role in both c-0rnpatibility and performance. While our Macintosh and DOS benchmark results are not directly comparable, they do point up ignificant




(pages) cycle


Canon LBP·SX 300!< Not rated 8 300

Canon LBP-SX 300k Not rated 8 300

ToshibaA-739 600k


12 300

Toshiba A·740 3M


26 300

Ricoh 1060 180k


6 300

Undisclosed Nol rated 4k

6 300




NIA· 300



NIA NIA' 300

Mitsubishr G650 Not rated 4k

CanonCX-D 300k


Canon LBP-SX 300k





Ricoh 4150



1 300 8 300
8 300
10 300 15 300


Weight Software

Documentation Suggetted



8 .5 x 20 x 18 8.5 x 20 x 18 18.1x19.8 x 19.52 16.1 x23.4x26.7 16.1 x 16.5 )( 9
17.7x 16.Sx8.4
13.8 x 20.9 x 22.22 18.7 x 18.1x19.5
18 x 9.1 x25
20 x 17.25 x 15 21 .5 x 28.5 x 17.5

45 45 1072 176 38
1142 99

Mac fonts Mac drivers
Adapter wl onts
Adapter w/fonts
w/ fonts. DDL software
PostScripl uti lities





152 152 280
44 172
130 +
2 PS Manuals 206
179 349

$4599 $6599 $7995 $18,700 $4199
$24 ,995 $6495
$5695 $7995

Undisclosed 360k


10 600

18.5 x 23 x 21 .1




$15 .995

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 167



arts follows Apple's lead in making

the AppleTalk connection of the DIN-8 variety, rather than the DB-9 favored by all the other AppleTalk printers. The

other printers u e the DB-9 connection as

an additional RS-422 serial port when




they are not in AppleTalk mode. The e

 differing connector: can present a prob lem-though trivial-when connecting different printers to the network. We chose the parallel interface when

testing throughput from the IBM PC AT

because we thought it was the least com



plicated way to connect a DOS machine to a printer. One printer that we ran into some trouble with using this approach wa the QMS Color Script 100, which re
fused to receive instructions through the

parallel port. QMS acknowledged the

Figure 1: Fmer characters are in the sample at left, from the 600-dpi Varilyper VT(j(J(). The sample at right, from a QMS PS 810, shows 300-dpi resolurion .

problem and uggested that we use a 30
foot parallel cable to correct it. Since only a 12-foot cable was available, we

were forced lo use the RS- 232C port to

differences in how the interfaces and is in sharp contrast to the performance of get around the buggy parallel interface.

controllers work together . The ITT the QMS printers, which did much better Though PostScript was developed for

Qume ScripTen, for example, printed on the DOS side. Better AppleTalk com serial communications and Interactive

our graphics file from the Macintosh sig patibility from ITT Qume accounts for PostScript depends on it, u ing acommu

nificantly faster than it printed basica.lly th is difference.

nications program to talk to a printer

the same file from the IBM PC AT. This General Computer's Business Laser from an IBM PC AT is a trying experi-

Freedom ofPress. 

Over the last few years. Adobe Systems has brought forth some very revolutionary ideas.
Such as the Adobe PostScrip page description languag e. Adobe Type Library. Adobe Illustrator 88'.'" The Display Post Script~
system. Software that gives you the freedom to
create professional-quality reports. news·

letters, business graphics and more. Using virtually any kind al compuler. IBM PC. Macintosh . Mini or mainframe .
That's why choosing printe rs with Post· Script soltware is your declaration of vendor independence. !l's the only standard adopted by virtually every major company in lhe com puter industry.

So any computers you have will wo rk
with any printers you buy equipped with Post· Scripl software.
And that means even more choices wh en it's time to print. You can use laser and color printers. At a variety of resotu1ions. Or even professional typesetters.
The Adobe Type Library also gives you



ence. Even after the initial headache of matching the protocols, stripping line
feeds, and making sure the software was
not expanding any tabs or seuding any extraneou control characters, we con tinued to run into problem where the only solution was to turn the printer on and off. If you have a choice iu iuterfac iug from au IBM PC AT, choose the par allel port.
Memories and Storage
PostScript printers owe their ability to create quality, high-resolution output to more than ju t beer processing power. Effective use of memory mass stor age capability i vital to the performance of the system. Every controller has at least 2 megabytes of RAM, most have some ROM, and some even have a hard disk drive or that capability. What sets a controller apart is the way it uses avail able memory to conduct the functions re quired by PostScript.
Most of the printers use ROM exclu ively for retaining resident fonts. Obvi ously, the greater ROM storage a control ler has, the more fonts it can keep readily available. The Texas In truments Omni-

Laser 2115 tores most of its font infor mation in ROM cartridges, and it has only a small amount of on-board ROM.
The IBM 4216 Personal Pageprinter
and the LaserJet add-on cards opt for no ROM at all; their "resident" typefaces are stored on the system's hard disk drive
and are downloaded to controller RAM when the sy tern is initialized. This con
figuration lets you change your resident font set through software, so wbjcbever typefaces you use most frequently are automatically downloaded . While thi gives added versatility, especially to those who commonly use unusual foots, it does add a significant delay to the ini tialization process.
Nonresident fonts can be down1oaded to RAM from either the controlling mi
crocomputer or a hard disk drive. Only Varityper's VT600 and QMS's Color Script 100 controller come with hard disk drives installed, but Apple's IINTX and General Computer's Business Laser Printer have small-computer-system interface (SCSI) ports for making op tional hard disk drive connections.
Two types of font information are kept in controller memory: th.e fonts them

selves, and a Po tScript standardized font cache. The font cache consist of characters that have already been pro cessed and for which a bit-map outline has already been generated. eedles to say, fonts fetched from the font cache are utilized much more rapidly than those tha.t must be taken from regular font memory and completely processed. It's
in storing the font cache that a large
amount of fast RAM can really make its presence felt.
Controller RAM stores downloaded fonts, the PostScript page description, the page bit map, and whatever header files an application may require. The controller uses any additional space for the font cache. The Color Script JOO comes standard with 8 megabytes of RAM to lead the field, but the IINTX's standard 2 megabytes can be upgraded to 12 megabytes. The VT600 comes with 6 megabytes installed, and the LZR 1260 comes with 4 megabytes; all the other controllers come with 2 or 3 megabyte standard.
Once again, the VT600 and the Color
Script 100 are in a class by themselves.
com inuuJ

Freedom of 

NEC _ _ S _

choices- li terally hundreds ol typefaces that
let you communicate any idea more effec1ively.
Adobe Ill ustrator 88 software gives you · freedom , too.
It lets you easily create anything from sim
ple line drawings to comple~ masterpieces.
Even if you can 't draw a slraight line.
And our new Display PostScript sottware

is a power1ul system Ihat brings the power of Adobe's PostScript software lo any PC or
worksta.tio n display. So before you invest in any laser printer,
make sure it's equipped with Post Script software from Adobe .
For more information . call 800 29-ADOBE.

Because Adobe 's Postscript software

A'-,3 is your only guarantee

_ ,,.

I.a oftruefreedomof .

expre ssion .


,}""~ ~~

lookror lhis sym!Jol on computers,pnntm anti Ollie· prOducts tllal support PostScnpl sottw.ini Imm Al1(lbt

l'\lrnO.IPT" SY$ttm1 Ifs yoor ouaran1ee ol uallly ml conllllC1N1!\'



How the Tests Were Done 

W e tested the printers on the two factor that u ers care most about: speed and print quality. For speed, we give objective numbers; for print quality, we provide numbers that are subjective but not arbitrary.
We printed three files, each designed to emulate a typical user file, in our speed t.est. First, we printed a 125K· byte, 16-page file that contained seven fonts, to emulate a large (and somewhat poorly designed) report. Next , we printed a 25K-byte, 6-page file that used only three fonts but also incorpo rated some small graphical element . This file was typical of a small newslet ter or flier. Finally, we printed a 34K byte, single-page file of graphics and highly manipulated text. This page made ext.ensive use of PostScript 's facil
ities for text manipulation (e.g., rota· lion, scaling, and distortion), line ren
dering, and shading. On the IBM PC AT, we created a sep
arate PostScipt file for each test, and we used the DOS PRINT command to send the file to the printer. Each printer ex cept the QMS Color Script 100 was con

nected to the AT via the parallel port. On the Macinto h SE, we connected
to the printer through AppleTalk and
printed each me from its creating appl i· cation. The file sizes for the Macintosh tests were I 18K bytes, 21K bytes, and 20K , respectively , for the large text , small text , and graphics tests. We used MacWrite 5.0 forthe text files and Adobe Illustrator 1.0 for the graphics
file . Since the two computers required different means for sending the files to the printers , you hould not try to draw conclusions concerning the IBM PC AT versu the Macintosh a platform for driving a printer.
For the print quality tests, we took one page of mixed-foot text and a graph ics page from each printer, taped them 10 a wall, and had 20 members of our
editorial and art departments rate them
on quality of text aod graphics, using a
scale of 1 (worst) 10 5 (best). The result in table l is the mean oflhe scores.
One test we did 001 run was for noi e level. We took readings on all printers and found that none added significantly to the noise level of the testing room.

Both of them have more than the standard ex print engine in 1983 ' enabled low

amount of RAM, and both have a hard cost laser printers to enter the market.

disk drive. The hard disk drive, in addi When Hewlett-Packard introduced the

tion to storing downloaded fonts, is used Canon-based LaserJet in 1984 , laser

as additional nonvolatile caching space. printers became a viable alternative for

Less frequently used fonts in the cache the office.

are sent to disk a the RAM cache be

The print engine performs the print

comes full, enabling the cache to grow to er's electromechanical functions , In a

10 megabytes. Of course, retrieving laser printer, th.e print engine contains

fonts from the disk cache takes far longer the laser itself, which generates an elec

than getting them from the RAM cache, trical charge on a photosensitive drnm.

but it is still faster than regenerating an The charged area corresponds to desired

entire character set.

markings on the page. Depending on the

All the printers except the VT600 pro type of engine, the laser exposes either

vide Times, Helvetica, and Courier fonts the black area of the image (write-black)

among their standard re ident font . See or the white area of the image (write·

table 2 for the number of resident foots white) . The rotating drum attracts the

each printer provides.

toner to the charged areas and transfers

it to a piece of paper. A final burst of

Doing the Dirty Work 

heat melt.s the toner, thus fixing it to

Although PostScript gets the headlines, 
 the page.

the print engine does all the dirty work. 
 This process can affect print quality.

In fact, the engine, more so than the 
 Write-black engines produce darker

PDL, determines the overall quality of 
 blacks; write-white engines handle finer

type. The engine affe.cts the main attri
 text. The resolution offered by the engine

butes by which a printer i mea ured: 
 will, of course, affect print quality the

resolution , print quality, durability, 
 most. the Varityper VT600 devi

and-to some extent- speed. 

ates from the 300-<lpi standard, offering

We often credit PostScript for spark· a fourfold increase in density at 600 dpi .

ing the laser-printer revolution . Io fact , it Because of the PostScript bottleneck,

was Canon who, by unveiling the LBP a manufacturer ' s rated engine peed

means very little. The printer will spit out sheets only as fast as Po 1Script can compose them . The Dataproducts LZR 2665 advertises a print speed of26 ppm ,
but our benchmarks show little speed en· hancement over engines with slower rat ings . Only if you're churning out multi ple copies of the same text file will the engine realize its advertised print speed.
lf you intend to use your printer as a
shared resource, consider the rated en gine life . The original Canon CX has a rated engine life of only 100,000 pages. The Canon SX-the engine driving the newer Apple LaserWriters, the QMS PS 810, and others-claims an engine life of 300,000 pages. The Instruments OmniLaser 2115 , equipped with a Ricoh 4150 engine, boa ts a life cycle of 1~ million page . The mo t durable engines , like the Toshiba A-740 or the Agfa en gine, will pump out over 3 mil lion copies before giving out. None of the printer reviewed use the Agfa engine.
The print engine will have a signifi cant effect on the printer' price . The LZ R 2665 carries a hefty price tag , mainly becau e of its top-of-the-line Toshiba A-740 engine . PTinters tocked with the Ricoh 1060 engine fall in a lower price range.
Putting It AU Together The 14 printers and boards we reviewed were more than the sums of their control· ler, memory, and print-engine capabili ties. They all are quiet and will fit nicely into an office environment, but each has special feature and idiosyncrasie that you should consider when deciding on a PostScript printer. For a description of how we evaluated each printer, see the text box " How the Tests Were Done."
Apple LaserWriter /INT: Apple 's re placement for its original LaserWriter PostScript board is a good controller de signed for an excellent printer. Although it turned in a mediocre performance on most of our throughput benchmarks , the times were very good for the engine intensive 36-page text test.
The IINT , which sells for $4599, has a 68000 controller and limited memory, but it is easy to install and use and pro· duce high-quality output.
Apple LaserWriter llNTX: Thi is a confes sion : Ever since we got this printer for evaluation back in February, we've used it for creating near ly all our hard copy in the lab. The print quality is ex cellent, and the printer is fast , versatile, and trouble-free.
Its combination of a 68020 controller and expandable memory gives it the un


The secret to my success. 

\Then I first showed up with print outs from my jet-Setter II laser printer, people just said, ' Looks great!" or 'Where did you have this typeset?' or "Did the art department do these chart ?"
Everyone assumed I couldn't afford a laser printer. But now I think they re starti ng to get suspicious. Upwardly mobile. The Jet-Setter II is compatible with the H-P LaserJet II®series printers, and has optional emu-

lation cartridges available for Epson®and Diablo~ So it works with just about everycomputer and every poP.ular software pack age you can name. And with a large library of fonts and option li ke a memory expan ion package for the fu ll page graphics you need in desktop publishing, it will be hard to obsolete.
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The Un-Postscript Alternative 

G iven PostScript's processing speed, you 'd do best to schedule complex print jobs around coffee breaks
and staff meetings. But there arc alter natives. The CAPcard controller from LaserMaster prints so fast that we started wondering if our benchmarks were sufficient.
LaserMaster refers to its product as
~e Un-Postscript solution. In contrast to PostScript , wh.ich converts a bit-map graphic into ASCII, the CAPcard uses a dedfoated graphics coprocessor to di ~tly e~cute function calls.
Our first test used a complex Page Maker document with multiple fonts and int.egrated graphics. The CAPcard, installed in a Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Series II, primed the file from a stan dard IBM PC AT in 11 minutes and 13 seconds . For comparison, we chose the QMS JetScript card for obvious reasons: It installs in the same printer; it employs
true Adobe Postscript; and its perfor mance compare favorably with the other PostSc.ript printers. Its perfor mance could not match the CAPcard' , though . The compleJl PageMaker docu

ment took the JetScript almost an hour to print.
So we tried something else. We pullr:d an AutoCAD drawing into Page Maker and printed that. CAPca.rd spit it out in 2 minutes and 13 seconds. The PostScript method took 32 minutes and 19 seconds. LaserMaster claims its pro prietary graphics chip processes vectors at the rate of l0,000 per second. The AutoCAD benchmark bears this out .
The CAPcard beats the IetScript io price, too. With 1.5 megabytes of RAM standard, LaserMaster's controller sell for $1395; enhanced versions-with more RAM, scalable typefaces, and drivers-are also available.
Io fairness, the CAPcard software was hard to install; LaserMaster says a quick install kit, now available, will take care of the problem. Also, JetScript ran pure text files faster. But you don't buy a desktop publishing system and a laser printer to print just text. You want fancy logos, startling graphics, and total integration. Both products deliver the goods; it's just that CAPcard deliv ers them much, much faster .

matched graphics speed it demonstrated io our benchmarks. The print engine is the same classic LaserWriter that did well by the llNT. If there is a drawback to this system, it's the price tag: At
$6599 , the IINTX is at the top end of the
300-dpi printers, but in this case you g.!I a lot for the money you spend. [Editor's
note: For a comprehensive review of the
/INT and the llNTX., see "Remaking a Classic" by Curtis Franklin Jr. in the May BYTE.]
Dataproducts LZR 2665: The LZR 2665 is a hard printer to categorize . Though its $18,700 price tag place.s it in a class with the Varityper VT600, it prints al onJy 300 dpi. As if to make up
for that deficiency, the print engine posts
an outstanding set of pees: a throughput
speed of26 ppm, a duty cycle of 80,000 pages per month, and a life expectancy of 3 million pages. The printer will also
output ledger-size paper. With a.11those impressive credentials,
why doesn't thjs printer perform better?
Perhaps it's the 10-MHz 68000. For
what you pay, you deserve the 68020. Or
maybe it's the limited storage, or some other design flaw . In any case , the LZR
2665 is simply not worth that much money. It sluggish performance on

throughput tests negates the impressive eogioespeed. It's not hard to use, but ii is
difficult 10 set up. And, to top it aJI off,
the print quality is poor. Simply put, you can get a better printer
for much les money than the LZR 2665,
but if you happen to have $18,700 burn
ing a hole in your pocket, go for the
VT600 a.nd 600 dpi.
Dataproducts LZR 1260: The LZR 1260 combines a powerful controller with an excellent print engine to provide
speed that blows by Apple's llNTX. In
contrast to the earlier LZR 2665, the
manufacturer focused on the controller
rather than on the engine, resulting in a
superior machine well worth $7995 . Though compact in comparison to the LZR 2665, the LZR 1260' print engine is sturdier than average, with a rated duty cycle of 10,000 pages per month.
The controller, built around a 68020
and connected to a print engine rated at
12 ppm, delivers impressive peed . One important flaw in its otherwi e excellent
benchmark performance- and the only thing that keeps this from being our fa
vorite printer- is its relatively poor print quality. It also showed an unusual ten dency for the status lights to remain ac tive well after the last page had left the

printer. This "busy" indication, though disquieting, did not seem to interfere with subsequent printing .
A liqujd-c ry tal-display readout and a membrane keypad on the front panel let you select both the interface and the Pos1 Script mode (batch or interactive) with out resorting to the manua I. You can also select a Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Plus emulation mode if you need to print a
document outside PostScript. General Computer Corp . (GCC) Busi
ness Laser Printer: If you're willing to
sacrifice some performance-but no ver satility- for economy, this may be the
printer for you . lt features a 68000-based
controller with 2 megabytes of RAM; a 6-ppm print engine; AppleTalk, RS 232C serial, and Centronix interfaces; and a SCSI port for connection to an ex ternal hard disk drive. All this will run you only $4199 for the complete system, or you can upgrade the GCC Personal Laser Printer for $2299.
The printer is aimed squarely at the Macintosh market, and a large part of its clearly written documentation is dedi
cated to operating from a Macintosh. Its
default interface mode is AppleTalk, and
c-0nnection lo the parallel port requires flipping a DIP switch on the back of the printer. Printer-driver and font software are included for the Macintosh , but there are no equivalent fonts for the IBM PC .
Speed performance was poor, but the output was fine, and the Business La er Printer compared favorably to several more costly printers on our print quality test. As a matter of fact, this is the least ex.pensive laser printer we reviewed, and you can definitely do worse in finding a solid, reliable printer.
IBM 4216 Personal Pageprinter: IBM
markets the 4216 as part of its Solution
Pac Personal Publishing System. The printer itself is offered with the control ler ca.rd and software in a minimum op erating configuration that sell for $4999.
The printer shares its design with the General Computer printer. The toner and OPC (organic photoconductor) car
tridges both load io the same way , and everything but the interface is simiJar in both machines. For the interface, the printer must be connected to an adapter card mounted in an lBM PC AT or PS/2
slot. System software lets you load fonts
from your system's hard disk drive to controller RAM, and it includes a print utility and PageMaker and Window!> drivers . Hard disk drive-resident foots can be altered.



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Figure 2: This drawing, done with Aldus FreeHand, is typical ofowpu1from the QMS Color Script JOO. To date, this is the only PostScript-compatible color printer.

The printer produced output of poor
quality, and its speed performance was mediocre when connected to the IBM PC AT. The SolutionPac (including a PS/2 Model 80) may be a good turnkey sys tem, but as a stand-alone printer, the 4216 is woefully average.
PC Publisher Kit: The first of the Post Script clones has finally arrived. Ima
gen's UltraScript language emulates the Adobe standard, bringing PostScript compatibility to the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Series II. In addition to Post script, the PC Publisher Kjt can print DDL, PCL, and Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language (HPGL) files. The kit features the 68000 processor with 2 megabytes of memory and 22 typefaces.
The $1995 PC Publisher Kit sells for $500 less than JetScript, a true Post script controller. Lower prices should be a major selling point of the coming clones, since they will be immune from Adobe royalties. The kit comes with two boards, one for the IBM PC AT and one for the printer. In tallation of both soft ware and hardware is quick and painless. If you need help, the two manuals should
prove adequate. Much has been made of Adobe's pro
prietary font-scaling algorithm. We were
anxious to see how well PC Publisher Kit would handle our large text file, a bench mark designed to wring out the foot cache and test font-scaJing capability.

Imagen uses its own algorithm to scale fonts. Also, though it does not license Adobe fonts, it does license from origi nal foundries. Adobe's font-scaling claims do gain some credence here, as PC Publisher Kit ran the large text benchmark significantly slower than the JetScript controller. Unfortunately, the kit stores fonts on the host's bard disk drive, so slow clisk access time wUI af fect throughput.
For the most pan, though, lmagen has created a sufficient clone. PC Publisher Kit posted adequate times on the other benchmarks, it was able to print all the PostScript test files, and it displayed
print quality comparable to JetScript's . If you have long documents with multiple font changes, you can't ignore the kit's
speed deficiency; but if you're on a tight
budget, you can get PC Publisher Kit for 25 percent les than JetScript. Yet an other trade-off.
The emergence of clones must be a mixed blessing for Adobe. Competitive prices will cut into its monopolized mar ket. On the other hand, a sudden plethora of imitators is the surest sign that Post script has attained the status of an iJJdus
try standard. JIT Qume ScripTen: This printer de
serves high marks for exterior design. It is pleasing to the eye. The output, on the other hand, fails to meet that same aes thetic. The write-white Hitachi engine

puts out some deep blacks , but it doe not print high-quality text. It scored near the
bottom on our print quality tests and
average on throughput. The engine has a rated speed of 10 ppm, a duty cycle of
5000 pages per month, and a life expec
tancy of300,000 pages.
The ScripTen employs the 68000 pro cessor and holds 1 megabyte of ROM and 3 megabytes of RAM . The $5695 printer is extremely easy to set up and just as easy to use. Indicator lights are accessi ble and self-explanatory. Documentation includes a guide to operation and a Post Script supplement. The supplement covers basic PostScript commands- the ones you are most likely to use-and ex plains how to issue these commands from interactive mode. The ScripTen scored high on our IBM PC AT bench marks, especially on the large text
throughput. However, ii did not handle the AppleTalk mall and large text tests very well. In any case , given the poor print quality, those benchmarks don't mean much.
QMS Color Script JOO: If you think 300-dpi graphics look good in black and white , wait till you see them in color. The Color Script 100 lets you take that step by being the first color PostScript primer. The results are spectacular.
QMS has put together a high-powered print controller featuring a 68020 CPU , 8 megabytes of memory, a 20-rnegabyte hard disk drive, and a four-color thermal print engine to create the Color Script 100, a bigh.-performance printer capable of some truly beautiful graphics. The system lists at a.n eye-popping $24,995, and at over 3 times the price of mo t 300 dpi printers, it's reserved for customers who nee-0 high-resolution color .
The print engine is slow, especially
when processing large files like our large text benchmark file . Printing in color takes far longer, as the printer needs to make four passes on the page: one eacb for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The high- peed controller enabled the printer to perform admirably on our single-page graphics benchmark.
High speed is not, of course, what sells thi printer. It 's the pages it out puts- with high-quality text or graphics in both black and white and color-that really grab you. The system can also an excellent proof printer, as it can do color separations for three or four
colors. There are, unfortunately, two serious
limitations to the otherwise excellent Color Script 100: the lack of a reliable parallel interface, as discussed earlier,

174 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988


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Based on message-passing, ONX 1s rad1·
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MULTl-USER 0$12 is mulh·lasking but NOT multi-user. For OS/2. this inherent deficiency is a serious handicap for ter-

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INTEGRATED NETWORKING Neither UNIX nor OS/2 can provide integrated networking. With truly d1stnbuted pro cessing and resource shanng. ONX makes all resources (processors, disks, printers and modems anywhere on the network) available to any user Systems may be single computers. or, by simply adding micros without changes to user software, they can grow to large transparent multi processor environments. ONX 1s the main frame you build micro by micro
PC's, AT's and PS/2's OS/2 and UNIX severely restrict hardware that can be 1.1$9d: you must replace all your PC's with AT's. In contrast. ONX runs superbly on PC's and literally soars on AT's and PS12's. You can

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and a limited imageable area. In order to keep the margins required for tight toler ance on color alignment, the thermal print engine accesses only an 8. I 1- by 8.91-inch region on a standard 8.5- by 11-incb page. This is sign.ificantly less than the average 8.1- by 10.5-inch imageable region afforded by most of the laser printers, and it can actually lead to some clipping. You can avoid the prob· lem by simply designing pages with this limitation in mind.
Laser Connection/QMS JetScript: The JetScript controller provides PostScript compatibility to the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Series II. Two c.ards, a manual, four floppy disks, and a parallel cable come in the package. You must first in staJI the software. This copies the Po t Script code onto the bost computer's hard disk drive. The prompts are and easy to follow, and the direction cover everything, including jumper set tings on the board.
Hardware in tallation is just as easy: Slide one c.ard into the IBM PC AT, pop the other into the rear slot of the Laser Jet, plug in the cable, and boot up. An AUTOEXEC file will load Po tScript code onto the controller board's RAM. Unlike the PostScript printers, the code is not ROM-resident. Though this configura tion causes some inefficiencies, it also means you won't have to swap ROM chips with each upgrade.
JetScript's ASAP (Adva.nced System Architecture for Postscript) technology, extended font cache, and 16-MHz 68000 MPU combine for exceptionally fast throughput. JetScript cranked out the large text file in onJy 4 minutes and 18 seconds. The $2495 controller supports the 35 standard Adobe typefaces. Install ing the c.ard will not void the printer warranty.
If you have a LaserJet Series II and need PostScript compatibility, JetScript offers a ready solution. In fact the mooth operation and impressive speed of this controller almost justify purchas ing the LaserJet just to put the JetScript card in it.
Laser Connection/QMS PS 800 II: QMS has a reputation for producing quaJity printers at a reasonable price, and the printers in the PS 800 series are no exception. Though marketed by The Laser Connection, this printer is QMS through and through. The PS 800 II, with an attractive price of $6495, is a 300-dpi printer with a fast 68000 control ler, 2 megabytes of RAM, and an engine rated at 8 ppm. The c-0mbim1tion affords good overall perfonnance in both text and graphics printing.

Text and graphics quality rank the PS
n 800 in the middle of the field. Highest
performance was achieved in the print ing of our graphics-intensive bench mark, where the controller's speed could really shine.
Top this printing performance off with provisions for the three common in terface connections, a 10,000-page-per month duty cycle, a double print tray combination, and emulation support for the Hewlett-Packard La erJet Plus,
Adobe's new logo 
 sets apart 

true PostScript products 
 from clones. 

HPGL, and the Diablo 630, and you have a full-featured printer capable of han· dling network print jobs with style.
QMS PS 810: The PS 810 is a com pact, comparatively .light-duty version of the PS 800 ll, with the same controller configuration driving an electrophoto grapbic recording engine. Though the engine is rated for the same 8-ppm speed, the system is much smaller than the PS 80011, which uses the raster-scan print method. The printer weighs in at 44 pounds, approximately half the bulk of its larger cousin, but it also has only half the recommended duty cycle at 5000 pages per month. It costs $5495 .
Print quality was excellent for this ma, consistently on top in our quality benchma.rks. Beyond this, the PS 810 and PS 800 II are remarkably similar, sharing the same interfaces and emula tions. The PS 810 does not have the dual input trays of the more network-oriented PS 800 II, but the two machines' onJy critical design difference is in print ca pacity. If you're looking for a printer to handle less than a whole office's output, you might do well to consider the lighter and even less expensive PS 810.
Texas ln.rtruments Omni.Laser 2115:
The Rjcoh 4150 engine gives the Omni Laser 2115 some impressive spec.s. With a 25,000-page-per-month duty cycle and a life expectancy of I~ million pages, the 2115 looks great on paper. If only its

output looked better on paper. The write white engine produces deep blacks, but the text lacks crispness. Still, the 2115 scored average on our print quality tests and above average on throughput.
The $7995 unit has a compact truc ture, with all switches, trays, and car tridges readily accessible. It is easy to set up and use. Two manuals provide all the you'll need in a clear, weU· organized format. Chances are good, though, that you won't have to refer to them often.
If you're looking for a printer to add to a network, you can't ignore thjs one. It has all the features you look for in a shared resource: durable duty cycle, long life expectancy, exceptional speed, and ease of use.
Varityper VT600: If you're ready to plunk down a good-size chunk of capital and graduate from the rank of the 300 dpi laser-printer owners, you're ready for a Varityper VT600. At $15,995, the VT600 is definitely not for the casual u er, nor even for the seriou individual user. This is a machine meant for organi zations with a real need for very high qual ity printing but not yet ready to go into the publishing business fu.11-time with the purchase of a Linotype.
The VT600 is the first PostScript printer to achieve 600-dpi resolution. The 600-dpi print engine is fast- rated at 10 ppm- and able to give the printer good throughput ratings when printing large files. Processing power is vital when dealing with the vast amounts of information manipulated at this resolu tion. The controller is buiJt around a 68020 CPU and 6 megabytes of RAM, 4 megabytes of which are necessary for the page buffer alone. A 20-megabyte hard disk drive provides additional storage space.
The system comes with surprisingly few fonts installed, but you can purchase almo t any imaginable font from Vari typer's library of 53 typeface families. Text printed with these installed fonts is distinctively good. The printer topped our text quality test.
Graphics, especially those with gra dations from dark to light , are beautiful at 600 dpi. Black areas are black, and edges are clearly defined . The VT600 was not, however, the roost highly rated graphics printer according to our test, which favored the 300-dpi Apple IINTX.
The Pick of the Lasers In selecting the best of these printers, our single most important criterion was print quality, an elu.sive and often subjective


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SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY TE 177

CAD ... etc. MAC & PC

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P R 0 D U C T F·o C U S

Company Information 

Apple Computer, Inc. 20525 Mariani Ave. Cupertino, CA 95014 (408) 996-1010 Inquiry 883.
Dataproducts Corp. 6200 Canoga Ave. Woodland Hills, CA 91365 (818) 887-8000 Inquiry 884.
General Computer Co. 580 Winter St. Waltham, MA 02154 (617) 890-0880 Inquiry 885.
IBM Corp.
155 Chestnut Ridge R4.
Montvale, NJ 07645 (201) 930-5022 lnqulry 886.

Imagen Corp.

Texas Instruments, 

2650 San Tomas Expy. Inc. 

Santa Clara, CA 95052 P.O. Box 181 153 

(408) 986-9400

Austin, TX.78718

Inquiry 887.

(800) 527-3500

Inqwry 89.1.


500 Yosemite Dr.

The Laser

Milpitas, CA 95035


(408) 942-4165

P.O. Box 850296

Inquiry 888.

Mobile, AL 36685

(205) 633-7223

LaserMaster Corp. Inquiry 892.

7156 Shady Oak Rd.

Eden Pra.irie, MN 55344 Varityper

(612) 944-6069

l l Mt. Pleasant Ave.

Inquiry 889.

East Hanover, NJ 07936

(201) 887-8000

QMS, Inc.

Inquiry 893.

One Magnum Pass

Mobile, AL36618

(205) 633-4300

Inquiry 890.

performance rating. After all, Post script is not bui It for speed or economy, but for the look of the printed page.
Varityper's VT600 is the best overall printer we reviewed . Its 600-dpi print en gine produces excellent graphics and text, and its powerful controller delivers the output rapidly . The system i fully featured, and, coupled with the optional foots, it is indeed a "typesetter" as Vari typer calls it, not just another laser printer.
Comparing a 600-dpi printer to those with 300-<lpi resolution and then choos ing the one with the best print quality may seem a little unfair. Our print qual ity benchmarks point out an important fact, however: Resolution is in the eye of the beholder. If your main objective i output tbat imply look good and you don't need the additional resolution for camera-ready proofs, you may want to consider a high-quality 300-dpi printer.
Take Apple's IINTX, which actually beat the VT600 in our graphics bench mark. Though the higher rating is only slightly better, it does demonstrate that the IINTX is in the VT600's league. Its throughput performance was outstand ing, its text rating was nearly as high as its graphics rating, and this was on a sys tem that did not have all the options in stalled. The UNTX, a growing standard by which others are compared, is still tops in the high-quality 300-dpi field.

With top-of-the-line PostScript print ers selling for more most American cars, saving money by sacrificing a little printing speed is a popular alternative. If you're looldng for a high-class printer for around $6000, take a look at the QMS PS 810, our pick in the price versus per
formance category. The PS 810 combines excellent print
quallty with good speed and enough fea tures to keep all but the most demanding user completely satisfied. Its one weak area is the print engine's relatively low duty-cycle rating, but the rating is com parable to other printers built for smaller user groups.
As a final alternative, you may choose to upgrade your current printer invest ment using a Po tScript controller card. The two controller card we reviewed are both relatively inexpensive and both. pro duce output of adequate quality. Of the two, we recommend the JetScript. Al though it costs $500 more than PC Pub lisher Kit, its performance is worth it. But though either board makes seo e as an add-on board, you should consider a dedicated Postscript printer if you are starting from scratch. ·
Steve Apiki and Stan Diehl are testing editors for the BYTE Lab. They can be reached at One Phoenix Mill Lane, Pe terborough, NH 03458, or on BIX as "apiki "and "sdiehl. "

- Cif'Clt 184 on &ader St!'l'ict: Card

In 1988, $3.5 billion in micro

computer softvvare will be sold

worldwide. During that same time, another 

$3.0 billion in sales will be lost to free distribution - better

known as software piracy. And right now Rainbow Technologies'

Software SentinelTM is protecting close to $1.0 billion in software for

developers who never wanted to be part of the free software distribution

network in the first place. _J The Software Sentinel hardware key is "execution control" software protection. It ships with the software and

simply plugs into the PC's parallel port

to be one

hundred percent invisible to both u er and

the soft

ware. Users can make as many copies as

they want.

Make working submasters. Use a hard disk. Virtually anything that can

be done with

unprotected software. Except start freely

di tributing

that software to other users. J The

Rainbow fam-

ily of Software Sentinel products. Se

lected by the

very big to the not-so-big developers of

MS-DOS, OS/2and Xenix software in worldwide markets. To the cool

tune of close to a billion dollars. So far.


18011-A Mi tchell South, Irvine, CA 92714 · (714 ) 261-0228 · TELEX: 386078 · FAX: (714 ) 261-0260
Copyrigh t 0 19 R.a inbowTkhnologi ... In< . Sofi wo.I'<' ntin·I and S nlinelPro ""' trodemorksofR.ainbow"ll'<h nologies, In<.

Cirdt 232 on R«ukr Service Card (DEALERS: 233)

SEPTEMBER .1988 · BY TE 179

si·kur; a. [L. securus]: The ability to keep your confidential data and your who/,e personal computing environment away from prying eyes and meddling associates.

Securing your personal computer

desk. Your precious programs and

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matter. Not any more.

The Tundon Personal Data Pac

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software and data, the Tundon

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And when your business keeps

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your data well. It's See h im today, or call us at 1-800-556-1234,

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Circle 271 on Reader Service Card (DEALERS: 272)



personal computing.

" Solid pe114 manadkelotwhisPno:emeance an excel/ 3-'Stem ent Val1ie. "

ME 386-20

20 1Hz 386-20 processor Microsoft

OS/ 2 and OOS compatible I B 32-bit RAM running at "'O'' wait tale (upgradable

to MB) Socket !or 80387 / 2 7 math

co-processor " High performan e CL

floppy hard di k control! r 1.2 MB
nopp disk driv o CMOS clock I al

2350 endar with bait ry back·up r Enhanced



Upright a e
Add 300

ME 386-18
I MHz 80386 processor L Microsoft OS/2 and 005 compatible 512K 32-bit m mory on board Two 32-bit xpansion slots Sock t !or 387 math copr essor High-performance NCL
floppy/ hard di k c ntroll r 1.2 MB
$}799 flopp disk driv CM clock/calendar Enhan ed iXr keyooard


S2P0 EC64IKA~ L * l~~OK)

m~ OOoh. c't~lfaMe· Monochrome

gra~~ir(I Monochrome monilor

Keyboard Complet yst m... $499.00

/ 12 MHz 802 6 processor 512K m mory ( upgradabl to 1 MB on board )
"O" wail late option ( .i. 15.3) licro soft S/ 2 and DO compa1ible 1/ 0 expansion slots H igh-performance NCL floppy/ hard disk controller 1.2 MB
$899 floppy disk driv CMOS clock/calendar Enhanced keyooard
The Network Solution
ELS t\vork for two-to-four u ers. 

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12 MHz 286 processor · Socket for
'2137 math co-processor 640K memory
( I B option ) New uper-Twi t LCD with Backlit and Reverse; 640 x 200 dots ( 640 x 400 ption ); char. x 25 lines
Monochrome/ Color graphic card for
ext mal monitor 6 expansion sloL<;
Floppy/ hard disk controller Serial/  parallel/clock-cal ndar L2 MB flopp_ disk drive 20 MB hard disk (30, 40, or 60 MB optional ) ..J 12-fun tion AT slyle
$}799 keyboard 110/ 220 auto-switchable 20 pounds

Roadrunner Plus (386)

Intel 80387 pr · sor 6/ 16 MHz cl k

speed I IB of memory Sock t for

math co-proces or Floppy/ hard disk

controller 1.2 MB high capacit nappy

disk driv

rn 2 last acces hard disk

(60 MB optional)

rial l parall I ports

ColorI mon display card !or xt rnal

monitor 1 ew Super-Twist LCD with

Backlit and Reverse; 640 x 4 dots:

80 characters x 25 Jin s 6 expansion

slots 12-function keyboard I I0/220V

auto-switchable 20 pound

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CAU T U.-ffiEE
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 in Calif. (714) 662-1973
2114 South Grand .A. enu Santa Ana. California 92705 F x: (71<1) 662· 1258 · 11 lex: 910 240 3029

Cirtl~ 173 on &oder Strvit1 Carri (DEALERS: 174)


· ..

Two for the Road

Sleek and powerful 803 86-based portables: the Toshiba T5100 and the GRiDCase 1530
Mark L. Van Name
GRiDCasc ISJO (lc(1) and Toshiba TS 100 (right).

hen IBM PC-compatible portable computers first ap peared, you needed arms like a gorilla to carry them . You were limited to an 8088 CPU , 640K byte of RAM, 320K-byte floppy disk drives, and a small monochrome screen , if you were lucky. Portable computers have come a long way since then . Toshiba and GRiD are now offering two of the first 80386-based true porta bles. GRiD's GRiDCase 1530 runs off battery power, and the Toshiba T5100 requires I 15 volts AC . Other than that difference, the two systems I reviewed are very similar. Both are sleek units weighing 15 pounds or less that, when closed are about a foot wide, a little over a foot deep, and a couple of inches high. You open both of them from the front, where the screen swings up to reveal the keyboard.

Both computers use the 80386 CPU, but the T5100 's runs at 16 MHz, while the GRiDCase 1530 uses a slower 12.5 MHz speed to help conserve power. Both have 2 megabytes of memory, a 40-mega byte internal hard disk drive , a jack for an external keyboard, one DB-9 serial port, one DB-25 parallel port, and one RGB connector for an external monitor. Each also has a gas·plasma display, but the TS lOO's is EGA-compatible, while the GRiDCase 1530 offers only CGA graphics, with an optional expansion car tridge that supports an external VGA monitor. The TSIOO also include an in ternal 1.44-megabyte 3 'h-inch floppy disk drive, while the GRiDCase 1530 came with its optional 1.44-megabyte 3 Yi -inch externa l floppy disk drive. Both systems run versions of MS-DOS.
The GRiDCase 1530 includes an ex ternal peripheral port to which you can connect devices such as the external floppy disk drive . To connect an external drive to the T5100 , you use the parallel port and a switch on the front left ide of the system. The switch lets you make that port act as the connection to drive A or drive B, or as a normal parallel port.
The TS 100 I reviewed, which included MS-DOS , is the standard TS 100 unit . It has a retail price of $7499 .
The GRiDCase 1530 also came with an optional internal 2400-bit-per-second Hayes-compatible modem, a 20~ watt hour internal battery, and both a 35-W and a 70-W battery charger/AC power supply.
The standard model of the GRiDCase 1530 , with a Ii t price of $4695, initially appears much cheaper than the T5 l00. However, the standard GRiDCase 1530 has only 1 megabyte of RAM, two inter nal 3 !h-inch floppy disk drives, and a LO-inch diagonal backlit liquid crystal display (LCD); it runs only on AC power, and it has no hard djsk drive. It also does not include any software. To make it comparable to the T5100, you



Company GRiD Systems Corp 47211 Lakeview Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 (415) 656-4700
Components Processor: 16·MHz 80386 running at 12.5 MHz, with compatibility speed of 6 MHz; socket for 16·MHz 80387 coprocessor running at 12.S MHz Memory: 2 megabytes ol 32-bil 120-ns DRAM on motherboard, expandable to 8 megabytes; 128K bytes of BIOS ROM Mass storage: 1.44-megabyte external 3V2 ·inch floppy disk drive: 40-megabyte internal hard disk drive Oisplay: Gas-plasma: orange leners on a black background; CGA-compatibte; seven shades of orange
Keyboard: 72-key IBM PC keyboard
layout 1Ofunction keys 110 interfaces: One 08-9 RS·232C serial port: one DB-25 parallel port: DB-9 RGB monitor port; external peripheral DB-25 port; DIN external keyboard
connector; two 256K-byte ROM socke s
S ize
111' 2 x 15 x 2'h inches: 131/4 pounds
Software None
Options 10-inch diagonal 640· by 400-pixel
plasma display: $995 2-megabyte memory upgrade: $595 16-MHz 80087 coprocessor: $1195 20-megabyte hard disk dri\18 and 1.44·
megabyte 3Y2-inch floppy disk drive: $1175 40-megabyte hard dis!< drive: $1675 External 1.44-megabyte 3V2-inch floppy disk drive: $350 External 360K-byte SV··inch floppy disk drive: $395 MS·DOS3.21 (on disk}: $150
MS·DOS 3.21 On ROM): $200
Rechargeable battery pack: $70 Battery charger: $90
AC power pack; S195 Internal 1200-bps Hayes.compatible
modem: $395 Internal 2400-bps Hayes-compatible
modem: $595 Expansion chassis and expansion bus
interface cartridge: $1295 VGA cartri dge: $695
Documentat ion GRiDCase 1500 Series Owners Guide
Prioe Model 1530: $4695 System as reviewed: $9375
Inquiry 896.
184 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Toshiba America, Inc. 
 Information Sys ems Division 

9740 Irvine Blvd. 

Irvine. CA 92718 
 (7 14) 583-3000
Components Processor: 16-MHz 80386, with
compatibility speed of 8 MHz; socket for
16-MHz 80387 coprocessor Memory: 2 megabytes of 32-bi 80-ns DRAM on motherboard, expandable on a
memory card to 4 megabY1es; 128K
bY1esof BIOS ROM Mass storage: 1.44-megabyte 3V2-inch
Roppy disk drive; 40-megabyte internal
hard disk drive
Display: Gas-plasma; bright orange letters on a darker orange background;
EGA-compatible; four shades of orange
Keyboard: 82·key IBM PC keyboard
layout (101·key compatibte): 10 function
keys: indicator lights for Caps. Num,
and Scroll Lock; cursor and page control keys: numeric keypad available by using a special !unction key 1/0 interfaces: One DB-9 RS-232C
serial port; one DB-25 paralleVfioppy disk
drive pen; DB-9 RGB monitor port: DIN external keyboard connector; expansion slot designed tor proprietary Toshiba cards
Size 121k x 14'-'5 x 31/2 inclies: 15 pounds
Software Toshiba's MS-DOS 3.30 (indudes TESTJ, a diagnostic and setup program,
and XCHAD, a program for controlling the mapping of colors to the T5 100's four
gray shades); Microsofl Windows/386
Options 2·megabY1e memory-expansion card:
$1299 External 360K·bY1e SV~ ·inch Hoppy disk
drive: $499 Internal 1200-bps Hayes-compatible
modem: $399 Carrying case: $99 PC Floppy Link: $199 Expansion chassis: $999 Expansion chassis interface card: S199 GWBASIC 3.0: $75
Documentation The First lime; TS100 Reference
Manual; T5100 Portable Companion; MS·
DOS 3.30 Operating System; MS-DOS 3.30 Operating System Quick Relerence
P ri c e Standard T5100 system (as reviewed) :
Inquiry 895.

have to add an addjtiooal megabyte of RAM, a 40-megabyte hard djsk drive (in place of one floppy disk drive), an exter nal floppy disk drive, a gas-plasma display, and MS-DOS. These options bring the GRiDCase l530's price up to $8780-or $1281 more than a compara ble T5 100.
Working on the Road While an AC power supply is tandard equipment on both units, the GRiDCase 1530 can also run on a rechargeable in ternal 20-watt-hour nickel-cadmium bat tery. The battery is fairly large (5 'A by 2 ~ by 1'h inches) and fits into a slot in
the rear left of the machine. It goe in
easily, and you are supposed to be able to pop it out by pushing on a tab underneath it. However, I could get it out only by hit ting the tab with a blunt instru ment.
The GRiDCase I530's ma nual in clude a section and table that discuss battery life. The table lists each major possible system component (such as the LCD or plasma screen or the optional 80387 coproce sor) and the amount of power it draws. The internal battery pack is supposed to supply 20 watt-hours of power, and from that figure and the table, you can cakulate how long the bat tery should last on your system.
I tested the system several times with a fully charged battery, and it lasted an average of about 31 minu tes. The system was admittedly fairly power-hungry be· cause of its hard disk drive and plasma display. Any ystem that uses an 80386, however, almost certainly needs a hard disk drive, and the plasma display is much easier on the eyes than the LCD screen. GRiD also has an optional 54 watt-hour external battery pack that can more than double your time in the field .
The GRiDCase 1530 has a red battery low light that warns you, well in ad
vance, truu the machine is about to run
out of power. Further, if you install a special GRiD device driver, the com puter will beep at you approximately every 30 seconds, starting about 10 min utes before the failure.
Look ing and Typi ng Aside from the type of power it requires. perhaps the most important other aspects of any portable computer concern how it feels in use. Screen and keyboard quality are crucial.
The T5 l00 has a 9 'A-inch diagonal gas-plasma monitor that displays bright orange characters on a darker orange background. There a re contrast and brightness knobs on the swivel arm that

Toshiba T5100 GRiDCase1530 


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1:24 :21 1:52 2:2 1 :02 1:4 1 :16 1:31
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AJI times ate 1n m1nu1~soconds. Indexes show relalive ~: lot all indeltm, an 8-ldHz IBM PC AT· 1.

11 .7 * Toshiba T5100
* GAIOC88815308 . 3
Compaq 388120 18.0 IBM PS/2 Mo<lel 8Q 11

11.7 8 .3

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String Move

Byte-wide 40.63


Odd·bnd. 40.57

Even-bnd. 20.43





GRID 6.35
52.69 27.66 38.34 44. 12

Index: 2.39 1.88


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3.32 3.32 6.30 11.50 6.6 1
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D lnde.x: 4.08 3.12

Index: 4.53


NIA·Nol wppotted by graphics ad®ler.
· Al limes are r.. seconds. Al figures were generated using lhe B088/8086
.......ion (1 . I) ct Sfl'lall-C (18-t)t W'ltegiin). Figures IOI B0386 machh!s do no1

use 80386-specilic insuuctions.

· The eoaiing>poim tlencllm&11<S use 8037-oompatiblll lrislrudions only. ~ The err<n lcM' the 11oatlng.poinl beOdVnarlc$ irdca1e lhe dflerenc8 ~n
~ed 81\d aeluel ll8IUll$.COJrect to 1o digits or rour>ded to 2 cfOls.
· TllMS reportad by Ille Hard Seel< and DOS Seek are lor m~ple seek
opetUtiOflll (f"l.BJ100< rt seekS per1ormed cunenlly se1 to 100).

· Read llJ1d Wfile times !or !he Ftlo UOboocntn rkS are In S«:Ollds pw 64K

· Fo< the lM!nTIOOI Loops and Oli~ona tests orly. higher numbers mean

fas1el perlormance.

VIDEO Toahlb.




Mode 1 5.00









Mode4 2.19

Modes 2.22

Mode 6 2.31


Mode 13 4.21

Mode 14 4.55

Mode16 4.50

12.49 12.47 13.05 13.04 NJA
2.89 2.9 1 3.02

· index: 1.90 1.25



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upport the screen .
The monitor is EGA-compatible. The
T5 l00 maps each of the 16 possible EGA
colors 10 one of its four gray shades, or
level of inten ity (off, ~. %. and full) .
Toshiba and Paradise did the EGA BIOS jointly . while the EGA chip i Paradise's PEGA-2. Lf you install a special device driver, the T5 l 00 will copy the EGA ROM BIOS into the faster sy tern RAM.
You can sometimes get into trouble wilh the default color-to-gray-scale map ping . For example, the caJculator in Borland ' SideKick displays number that are by default the ame shade as the background . Fortunately, To hiba pro vides a nice utility , XCliAD (Enhanced Change Display) , that addresses this problem . If you load XCHAD as a termi nate-and-stay-resident (TSR) program, you only have to enter Alt-SysReq, and it will clean up the screen so that you can
see everything on it. It does so by reading the screen and then mapping the colors 10 gray scales that provide the greatest amount of contrast between adjacent pixels of different colors.
The screen in the GRiDCase 1530 is a ID-inch-diagonal CGA-compatible gas-

plasma display. It displays orange letters on a black background . There is a sliding brighmes control on the bottom right of the screen, but I could never see any dif ference in the creen regardless of the control's position. A Yamaha video chip provides the CGA emulation.
Like the T5100, the GRiDCase 1530 maps colors to gray scales. It offers seven
levels of inten ity: 14, ~. 1h, %, '.!', full
intensity , and off. Some of tbese levels
are very clo e, however; only three or
four are easiJy visible. The 1530 come
with ix predefined color mapping . A GRiD poke per on said that these map pings were enough to support nearly all MS-DOS applications . You can cycle through them with a key sequence or choo e one with one of GRiD's exten sions to the MS-DOS MODE command.
Both the TS !00 and the GRi.DCase
1530 let you connect an external monitor (EGA for the T5100 and CGA for the 1530). Both let you alternate between the
internal and external displays by using a
special key sequence. However, neither y tem lets you di play the same image on both screens simultaneously.
The GRiDCase 1530's black back 

ground is much more soothing to the eyes than the bright orange background of the T5IOO ' s display . However, the finer
standard font on the T5100 and its EGA capabilitie make it more plea ant for prolonged text work.
Just a these machines have similar di play , so, too, do they follow imilar approaches in their keyboard layouts.
Both keyboa.rds are small and are at
tached , integral parts ofthe system. Both have fewer than the 101 keys of the IBM Enhanced keyboards. They get around thi deficiency by using a pecial func tion key , Fn, in multikey sequences to simulate " mis ing" keys , such as those normally on the numeric keypad. Both also provide a DIN jack to which you can connect any external AT-compatible keyboard .
The T5!00's keyboard has a pleasant
feel. with strong tactile feedback and an audible keyclick . There are Caps, Num ,
and Scroll Lock indicators on the screen wivel arm . The 82 keys are arranged much like an IBM PC's, but with the 10 function key aero 1he top. The left ide of the keyboard follows that same stan



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dard, but on the right it diverges . There it has special arrow, Home, PageUp , Page Down, End, Insert, and Delete keys. You get the numeric keypad number , +, - , and decimal point, as well a Fl 1 and Fl2, by using Fn and another key. To make it easy for you to find these other characters, alternate key functions ap pear in blue on the front of the keys . By using the Fn key, you can get this key board to generate al I the key sequences of the IBM Enhanced keyboard.
The keyboard. on the GRiDCase 1530 has only 72 keys-IO fewer than the T5 LOO's-but it follows the same ap proach to provide other keys, such as those on the numeric keypad. It action feels mushy at first, but the keys spring
back quickly. II also has a much softer keyclick than the T5100. There are no in
dicator lights , not even for Caps or Num Lock- a tiny omission that I found annoying.
It also has the 10 function keys across the top, but it unfortunately also has Backspace up there, well beyond its usual po ition . There are four arrow key on the right ide, but you can get the other numeric keypad keys only by using the Fn key. Alternate key functions ap pear in different colors on the key . There are also a few printable charac ters, including square brackets, curly brackets, and the tilde character, that you get only by using the Fn key. Program mers (especially C programmers) may find this bothersome.
Performance and CompatlbiJlty
As you can see in the performance charts, the T5 l 00 is about the same speed as the 16-MHz IBM PS/2 Model 80. This performance puts it right in the middle of the zippy 16-MHz 80386 pack but still leaves it behind the 20-MHz and 25-MHz speedsters.
The GRiDCase 1530 is roughly 30 percent slower than the T5100 . Most of this difference must come from its 28 percent slower 12.5-M Hz clock. The 1530 actually uses a 16-MHz chip, but it runs with a slower clock to save power.
There are a few performance anoma lies worth noting. While both units use the same basic hard disk drive, the T5100 actually beats the GRiDCase 1530 on the File 1/0 Seek test . The T5 I00 has its typical 30 percent edge on the I-megabyte file Write and Read tests, and takes the Disk 1/0 tests overall.
The T5100 also bas an unusually large edge on both the floating-point tests and tests involving applications that do a lot of floating-point math (e.g., the Engi neering/Scientific application tests).

Both machines have a socket for an 80387; the T51 00's runs at 16 MHz, and
the GRiDCase 1530' s runs at 12.5 MHz. One reason these systems don't break
out of the 16-MHz pack is that they do nothing special to help speed memory access. For example, neither system uses a hardware cache. The T5 IOO uses 80 nanosecond dynamic RAM (DRAM) , which leaves it with one wait state. The GR iDCase 1530 also has one wait tate, although its slower clock speed lets it get away with 120-ns DRAM chips.
On the compatibility front, there is some obvious hardware bad news and lots of mostly good software news.
The hardware bad news is that neither of these systems can handle even one standard IBM PC expansion card . Both let you expand system memory by adding memory within the main unit- with sin gle in-li ne packages (SIPs) in the 1530,
and with a memory-expansion card in the
T5100. You can expand the T5100 in two
other basic ways . There is one expansion slot in the right rear of the machine. It is a proprietary slot that work only with cards designed for the T5 l 00 and , usu ally , theT3100, Tl200, and Tl 100 Plus. (A card will work in all these units as long as it does not play with memory ad dressing in any unusual ways.) You typi cally would use this lot to hold an inter nal modem . However, you can also use it
for the other major expansion option: a card that lets you attach Toshiba's exter nal expansion chassi , which can handle full-length cards.
The GRiDCase 1530 also offers an op
tional interface card and expansion chas sis for full -length cards, but it does not have an explicit expansion slot. Instead ,
you use a GRID-proprietary expansion
cartridge that fits into the battery slot.
You can also buy other expansion car
tridges from GRiD , including one that supports VGA graphics on extern al VGA-compatible monitors. The 1530 of fers one other odd expansion option: It has sockets on the main face of the unit , above the keyboard and before the screen, for two ROM chips. GRiD offers its MS~DOS, as wel I as several other software packages, on such ROM chips.
These machines run nearly all PC compatjble software. I ran them both through a test suite that included a copy protected Lotus 1-2 -3 version 2 .0; DESQview 2 .0 and its accompanying Quanerdeck Expanded Memory Man ager 386 version 1.0; Kermit 2.30; Nor ton Utilities 3 .0; Microsoft' Windows/ 386 2.03 , Word 4.0, and PC Paintbrush 2 .0; WordStar 3.3 and 4.0; Q&A !. I;


Digitalk's SmalltalklV 1.2; and Bor land's Quattro 1.0, Turbo C 1.5, Turbo Basic 1. 1, Turbo Pascal 4.0, Reflex 1.14, SideKick l .56A, and SuperKey
J.16A. The T5100 has one software compati
bility problem: It will not run Windows/ 386. When I tried, I got the message:
Error: Unsupported DOS version. A
Toshiba technical-support person said that Toshiba is aware of th is problem and
t.hat it should go away when Toshiba re leases MS-DOS 3.3 for the T5 IOO.
The 1530 also seemed to have a com patibility problem, but there was a way around it. The Quarterdeck Expanded Memory Manager 386 version 1.0 would not work, and instead reported : No room for Page Frame . Cannot load because there is not enough memory. GRiD's own expanded memory manager (GRiD 386) worked lik.e a champ, however. A GRiD support person led me to try put ting the page frame at memory locations COOOx and DOOOx hexadecimal, both of which worked. He said that the error was due to my old version of the Quarterdeck software, and that it would not occur with a newer version.
If necessary, both machines can oper ate at a slower compatibility speed. The TS I00 offers 8-MHz operation; the 1530 can run at 6 MHz. However, they each ran Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.0 without mak ing me slow them to their compatibility speeds.
Digging Inside
Getting inside most personal computers is a fairly simple matter; not so with the e tightly packed portables. I don't recommend that you take one of these apart unless you are willing to move very lowly and carefully.
The bottom of the T5 l 00 curves slightly, so when its rear tilt stand is up, the keyboard sits flat. To accommodate this bend, the motherboa.rd, which runs along the bottom of the machine, is in two pieces: There's a small piece under the keyboard, and a larger one under the rest of the machine.
The section under the keyboard is at tached to the main section by several wide ribbon cables and is easily accessi ble. It contain the ROM chips, the key board controller, the memory, and some support chips. It also contains an expan sion connection for the memory-expan ion board, which goes to its right. This board can increase the system memory to 4 megabytes of 32-bit memory. You can make the T5l00 copy the ROM BIOS (from Award and Toshiba) into the faster RAM by choosing the fast ROM option

in che T5 l00's Setup program.

The T5 100's memory chips are !

megabit chips mounted on single in-line

memory modules . The SIMMs are sol

dered, not socketed. There i also a

small daughtercard, seated above the

main part of the motherboard, that holds

the EGA chips, 256K bytes of EGA

memory, and some other support chips .

The main piece of Che motherboard

contains the 80387 socket, the 80386,

and a number of Toshiba chips; many of

the chips are surface-mounted. Not

counting the memory chips, the three

motherboard components contain a total

of only about 70 chips. The boards are

clearly manufactured by Toshiba and use

many Toshiba parts.

The GRiDCase 1530 has a flat bot

tom, so it has a single main motherboard.

It also has a daughtercard above part of

the motherboard. GRiD manufactures

both boards. The daughtercard contains

the Yamaha CGA chip and the sockets

for the two ROM-expansion chips that

you can install.

The main motherboard contains 109 chips, not counting DRAM chips, but very few are surface-mounted. Its 2
megabytes of DRAM are mounted in
eight 256K-byte SIPs. You can replace some or all of these SIPs with ! -mega
byte versions to get either 4 or 8 mega bytes of RAM . The motherboard con
tains the 80386, the 80387 socket, the ROM BIOS chips, and four large Fara day chips, among many other chips. The four Faraday chips do much of the stan dard AT work, while most of the others provide the discrete logic that handles the

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The Rest of the Package
The T5100 comes with Toshiba's MS DOS 3.30, and you can buy GWBASIC 3.0 as an option. Toshiba's MS-DOS in


eludes setup options that let you allocate memory above 640K bytes to expanded and/or extended memory. A To hiba spokesperson said that the company would be offering Unix and OS/2 in the
future. With the T5100, Toshiba is also bundling Lotus's Metro, a desktop man ager with 12 accessories and a macro generator.
The T5100 also comes with a boxed set of five manuals. This set includes an MS-DOS 3.30 reference manual, an MS

DOS quick reference guide, a manual for new users, a T5JOO reference manual, and a thin "Portable Companion" man ual that ummarizes most of the informa tion in the T5100 reference manual. The reference manual is particularly useful, with thorough explanations of nearly all the system's features.
The standard GRiDCase 1530 does not include any software. You can buy GRiD 's MS-DOS 3.21; its MS-DOS ex tensions include many new MODE options


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that let you control hardware options , a GRiDScan program that gives sy tern configuration information, and the GRiD386expanded memory manager.
A GRID spokesperson said that the 1530 will run both the Santa Cruz Oper ation' (SCO) Xenix System V and Inter active Sy terns' 386/ ix Unix ; GRiD sell only the SCO Xenix , however. The spokesperson that GRiD was experi menting with OS/2 and would offer it when enough customer requested it.
The GRiDCase 1530 comes with an owner's guide and hort reference man uals for each of the hardware options . You also get an MS-DOS manual if you buy that option. The owner's guide is short but useful , with a fairly thorough discussion of the ystem' options , in cluding much useful information on its battery usage and power requirements.
The telephone-support people at both companies were among the best with whom I've had the pleasure to talk. They were able to answer nearly all my ques tions, including very technical ones, quickJy and correctly. Those few that they could not answer, they researched and answered later. There does not seem to be any limit on the telephone support that either company offers, and you can reach both support services through toll free numbers .
The T5 IOO comes with Toshiba' one year "Exceptional Care" limited war ranty . You can buy an additional two years of support, but it i expensive: $979 for the basic unit alone, and more for each option .
The GRiDCase 1530 includes a 90 day limited warranty .
Juggling Options Given the hort life of my GRiDCase 1530's banery , battery operation seem to be for occasional use only. Ifyou need that capability and can do without EGA graphic , it is a good machine . It al so provide a cheaper entry-level model than the TSIOO .
The T5100 has a higher price for an entry-level machine , but if you want a faster CPU and EGA graphics at a le s expensive price (for comparably equjpped machines), and if you do not have the need to run from a battery , go with the T5100.
Both machfoes are signs of the times and of things to come: ever more power in ever-smaller. sleeker packages. ·

Mark L. Van Name is a freelance writer

I ......

and computer consultant living in Dur

ham, North Carolina. He can be reached

on BIX as "editors. "


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An 80386
with a Twist

Competitive pricing and an intelligent bus distinguish the AST Premium/386 from its peers
Jeff Holtzman

In a.n increasingly crowd.ed field of 20-MHz 80386-based AT compat ibles, AST Research's Premium/386 is a unJque entry. Like IBM's PS/2 series, it includes several peripheral con trollers on the motherboard. But what separates the Premium/386 from the rest of the 80386 pack is its intelligent bus de sign, which lets devices on the mother board other than the CPU take control of the bus to gain fast access to system memory and peripherals. And unlike the PS/2's Micro Channel architecture (MCA) bus, the Premium/386's bus is fully compatible with IBM PC XT and
The Premium/386 comes in five con figurations. The basic unit is the Model

300 ($5195), which includes a 20-MHz 80386, sockets for both an 8-MHz 80287 and a 20-MHz 80387, I megabyte of32 bit BO-nanosecond static-column RAM, one parallel and two serial ports, and
seven expansion slots. One expansion lot is dedicated to AST's proprietary 32 bit memory card; two are standard 8-bit (XT-style) slots; one is a tandard 16-bit (AT-style) slot; and three are SmartSlots. The latter closely resemble a standard AT expansion slot, except that the lower con nector carries several new signals that allow a "master" device on a pecially buiJt card to take control of the bus from the CPU (see the text box "AST' SmartSJot Architecture" on page 196) .
The base unit also comes with a bat tery-backed clock/calendar, a 101-key enhanced-style keyboard, and a floppy disk drive controller that cont.rols a maxi mum of four devices in all 514 -inch and 3 lh-inch formats. The Premium/386 can
accommodate three externally accessible half-height drives; another unexpo ed bay accepts either one full -height or two half-height devices.
Unlike many high -performance 80386-based microcomputers, the Pre mium/386 has no hardware cache, nor does it support the Weitek l I 67 math co processor. The base sy tern does not come with a graphics card a monitor, or
a hard disk drive. Standard software includes MS-DOS
3.30, GWBASIC 3.22, a ROM - and RAM-based setup program, and utility software (an expanded/extended mem ory manager, RAM disk, disk cache, and print spooler). AST's version ofOS/2 l .O is available for an extra $325 .
I reviewed the Model 390, which in cludes an additional megabyte of mem ory and a 90-megabyte 18-millisecond enhanced-small-device-interface (ESDI) hard disk drive. The hard disk drive auto matically parks the read/write heads in the last cylinder when powered dowo. The review ystem came with a 20-MHz



AST' s SmartSlot Architecture 

T he SmartSlot architecture is tlle mo t unusual and innovatjve fea ture of AST's Premium/386. Consider ing the impl icity of the SmartSlot con· cept, it's surprising that no one thought of it before. And because the SmartSlot i an extension of tbe classic AT bus, it run at 8 MHz with one wait state and is fully downward-compatible with exist
ing expansion cards . Smar!Slot provides a way for an intel
ligent peripheral {e.g. , a disk control ler, video adapter or network or micro to-mainframe interface) to take control of the bus from the microprocessor. Thus, the peripheral can aocess system memory or other peripherals directly, without help from the CPU . This not onJy frees the CPU for other tasks, it also speeds memory transfers, depend ing on the appli.cation and the peripheral you're using, because not every byte of data you transfer goes through the CPU.
For example, to draw a circle in a graphics program, a CPU working by itself must load l to 4 bytes of memory (depending on bus width), manipulate it, and restore it to memory. This pro
cess is repeated for au memory loca·
tions involved . However , with an intelli gent graphics coprocessor running in a SmartSlot, the CPU gives the command and then goes on to something else. Meanwbj le, the coprocessor load the affected region from video memory in one quick burst, draws the circle, and

then reStores the region in one chunk just as quickly.
The Premium/386 has three Smart Slots, each of which looks like a stan· dard 16-bit expansion slot that has been stretched to accommodate four new pins on each side of the lot. Of these eight pin , five are currently used; three are reserved for future use.
Two of the five signals are status sig nals generated by a SmartSlot·mount.ed peripheral device (called a Master). One (MASTERS) identifies the master a capable of 8-bit Lransfers only; the other (MASTER16) identifies the mas·
ter as capable of either 8- or 16-bit
tmnsfers. The remaining three signals
rtize use of the bus . When a master wants the bus, it asserts a bus request (BUSREQ). If the bus is available, the arbitration logic asserts a bus grant {BUSGNT), and then the master device asserts a bus busy (BUSBSY) . The ma · ter can then maintain control of the bus until BUSGNT is released, at which point it must finish its current activity and then release BUSBSY.
Things are actually a little more com· plicated than this, however, be.cause to maintain compatibility with the AT bus, the refresh circuitry must uphold dy namic RAM (DRAM) refresh timing. The arbitrati.on logic senses when a re fresh cycle must occur; if a master de
vice has control of the bus, the arbitra·

tion logic takes the bus, allows refresh to occur, and then gives the bus back to that master . The same proce occurs when a direct memory a.ccess tran fer takes place.
The arbitration logic sees to it that two masters do not try to gain bus con trol simultane.ously. It also has a provi sion for locking the bus {for up to 150 micro eoonds) while critical
sections of code- servicing a hardware interrupt, for example.
Another complication i that, in a process that AST calls bus hogging, the master does not need to relinquish the
bus if it takes rcsponsibHity for provid ing DRAM refresh . In such a situation, the master could perform sustained, un interrupted data transfers indefinitely.
The result is a bus that, unlike the
PSl2's MCA, is completely compatible
with the classic IBM bu but al o has ad vanced capabilities like the MCA.
As un ique as the Smar!Slot architec
ture is, however, it's unclear whether
other manufacturers (or even AST it self) will develop hardware that takes advantage of the Sma.nSlot's advanced features . AST claims to have developed an advanced BSDI disk controller that can take advantage of the SmartSlot ar chitecture, but the company doe n' I plan to release the product until late thi year.
Currently, AST has no plans to de· velop additional SmartSlot cards.

80387, an AST 30 Plus II EGA card, and
an AST EGA monitor. The price for this system, excluding the 80387 (which AST doesn't sell), is $9585.
AST's 32-bit memory card can hold a maximum of 13 megabytes of memory; you add 256K-byte and I-megabyte sin gle in-line memory modules (SIMMs) in I- megabyte ($I 095) or 4-megabyte ($7995) increments.
A rch itectural DetaHs The Premium/386's architecture is inter e ting both for what it ba and for wbat it doesn't have. AST didn't build a hard ware cache into the machine. Since the 32-bit expansion slot is fed directly by signals from the microprocessor, AST could add a cache-based memory system. Currently , it implements memory as a t.atic-column (or page-mode) system . Thi architecture divides memory into relatively small equal-size chunks of

memory called pages. In the Pre· mium1386, the page size is 2K bytes.
The CPU accesses a specific memory location through the memory-decoding circuitry, which presents row and ·col umn addresses to RAM and then reads or writes tbe desired information. To access another location on the same page, the memory-decoding circuitry needs onJy to change the row address. Access in the same page occurs with zero wait states. However, memory on a differ ent page incurs two wait states, because the memory-decoding circuitry must specify both row and column addresses, and because it must prepare ( precbarge) the static-column RAM for access.
Static-column RAM can increase per formance because program tend to exe cute sections of code repetitively in rela tively smaJl areas of memory. However, because more than 2K bytes of RAM often separates code and data segments

oflntel microproces ors , ustained oper· ation within a 2K-byte chunk of RAM (i.e., at zero wait state ) seldom occur . AST engineers report an average of 0 .6 to 0.7 wait states when running typical applications.
The Premium/ 386 allocate memory in a unique fashion . Of the first mega byte of RAM, it decodes 640K bytes to appear at the usual addre ses (0000:0000 hexadecimal tbrough 9000:FFFFh) . It maps tbe remaining 384K bytes, which AST ca.lls Reserved Memory , to the top of the 16-megabyte address space (OOFAOOOOh), but it may remap l28K bytes of it to the top 128K bytes of the first megabyte (EOOO:OOOOh through FOOO:FFFFh). You can use that 128K bytes, called Shadow RAM , to hold a write-protected copy of the BIOS , which will then run about twice as fast as it does directly from the pair of 8-bit ROMs.

196 8 YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

AST Premium/386


WORD PROCESSING Xywrtte 111 + 3.52
Load (letge) WordCOUnl Search/replace End ol document
Block moves
Spelfing check Mlcroeoft Wonf 4.0
Forward delete Aldue ~- 1.0.
Load docunenl Change/Bold 

Align ngN 

Cul 10pages 
 Piece graphic 
 Print to ~le 

- Index:
SPREADSHEET Lotua 1·2-3 2.O1
Blocl< copy Reeale Load Monte Carlo Recalc Monte Carlo
Load rlarge3
Recatc rlatge3 Recalc Goal-seek.
Microsoft Excel 2.o
Rn right Urldofil Recalc LoadrlarQ83 Recalc rlaige3

Med./Lerge : 13
:03/;20 :05/:20 :02/: 12 : 111: 11 :08/1 :00
:06 :23 :16 :15 :04 1:39
:03 :01 :11 :05 :03 ;01 ;03
:04 1:53 :02 :30 :01
2 .llO

Cop'( Index List Append Dele!e Pack Count Serl
Load SoflWest Regen SoltWest Load StPauts Regen St?al.lls Hide/redraw STATA 1.5 Graphics
MlthCAD2 .0
IFSSOO pis. FFTnFFT 1024 ~s.
D lndex:
COMPILERS Microsoft C 5.0
XUspC()mpile Turbo'-"1
Pascal S compile
a ln<Mx:

:52 ;07 1:06 1:37 :02 1:25 :03 :51
:4 :33 :09 :OS 11 :13
:15 :15

14,9 * . AST Premium/386
Compaq 386/20 111.0 IBM PS/2 Model 80 11
Word Processing
D Spreadsheet
D Database
D Sclentificl
D Compilers
'CLITIUali"" 11pplicalions ~ Gra'*'5 11e based on ind!lx8s 8111111 and show relalive


CPU Mltroc String Move Byt&-wide

32.10 21 .29 23.56 27.63


2 . 51







3 .6 4






l .77E- 02

DISKUO Hard Seek"
o.Jertrack Inner track Hall plalte< FuQ plaiter Average DOS Seek l·sector 32 sector AleUOSeek Read Write 1·megllbyt· Write Read

3 .29 3.33 6.65 10.00 5.82
7.53 18.37
0.11 0.48 0 .76
3 .09 2.93



· Al iin- 1110 n seconds. Al figutes  gene.-ated usiroQ the 9088/9066
~ (t . I) d Smal-C (16-bft irUgers). Figl.l'es lor flOS86 machines do nol

US<!~ instruclions.

' The noeoog..po1n1 benclvna.rks US<! 8087-cMlpatibWI ini!ltructlons orly.

s The 1t1tn lot the lloallnitpolnt b<n:ivnerlcs inclcale the cifkrence ~
eicpeded and adulli valuM, etwret:I to 10 dQ<lt OI tounded IO 2 dGi14.
· I mes r"l)OrtBd by the Htord Seek and DOS Seek are ror l'llUlfllle S68k

Ojl6'8ljOllS (number d seeks pelfonned CIKrendy set IO 100).

· Re6d a1'd wr«e limes b' !he ~ llO bendvnarlcs are In seconds pe- 6dK

cnv. byte·
· For 1119 l.MlmlO<e Loops end ~tests

higher lllJl!lbln mean

!astll' p!Wlotmaroce.

















Mode 5


Mode 6



Mode 13


Mode 14


Mode 16

4. 12







Livermorn Loopsl


0 . 15

Dhrystone (MSC 5.0)



For a 1\.111 desctlpoon d all the l;lenctlmarl<s. _, ·tnltoduong the New BYTE 0enc:NnatlcS... June BYTE .

AST Premlum/386 Compaq 38612()
IBM PS/2 Model 80 IBM PC AT
D Oiskl/O
SEPTEMBER l988 · B Y T E 197


AST Premlum/386
AST Research , Inc.
2121 Alton Ave.
Irvine. CA 92 71 4 (71 4) 863·1333
Processor: 20-MHz Intel 80386; sockels for 20-MHz 80387 and 8-MHz
Memory: 2 megabytes of 80-ns static· column DRAM. expandable to 15 megabytes with 13-megabyte
expansion card Mass storage: 1.2-megabyte 5 V4-incl'l
floppy disk drive; 90-megabyte 18-ms
ESOI hard disk drive
Display: Optional EGA monitor and JG Plus II EGA ca.rd Keyboard: 101 ·key enhanced keyboard 1/0 i nlerfaces: Two RS-232C serial ports (25-pin): one parallel port (25-pin): one 32·bit memory-expansion slot; two
8-bit and one 16-bit expansion slots; three 16 -bit AT-compatible SmartSlots
19 V4 x6 V4 x 16V2 inches: 40 pounds
Software MS·DOS 3.30, GWBASIC 3.22, ROM· and RAM:based setup. diagnostics. RAM disk, disk cache, print spooler,
expanded/extended memory manager
Options OS/2 1.0 : $325
1 megabyte orSIMM memory: $1095 4 megabytes of SIMM memory: $7995 3G Plus II EGA card: $395 VGA card: $445
VGA Plus card: $599 Monochrome monitor: $195
EGA or VGA monitor: $695 1.2-megabyte floppy disk drive: $235 360K·byte floppy disk drive: $215 1.4-megabyte floppy disk drive: $695
40-megabyte tape backup: $695
AST Premium/386 User 's Manual; AST Premium Utility Sottware User's Manual;
AST Operating System 3 .30
Price Model 300: $5195 Model 340 {with 40-megabyte hard disk
drive): $6295
Model 390 (with 90-megabyte hard disk
drive): $8495
Model 3150E (with 150-megabyte hard
disk drive): $9795
Model 3320 (with 320-megabyte hard disk drive): $10,795
System as reviewed: $9585
Inquiry 894.
198 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

With an AST EGA card, you can load disable auto-slowdown. With all these

the FASTECA.SYS driver via your CON peeds, though , the actual clock speed
FIG.SYS file; this copies the EGA BIOS doe o't change.

to Shadow RAM . Typing a 32K-byte Booting is fast because the ystem per

ASCII file to the screen took about 38 forms only a limited memory check. You

econds without using FASTECA.SYS, but can run more extensive diagnostics with only about 11 seconds with it installed . a supplied set of routine that check vari

Unfortunately, FASTEGA.SYS won't let ous subsystem (e.g., memory, key 

you copy third -party EGA (or VGA) board, disk, and video) and that also in

BIOSes to Shadow RAM .

clude a low-level disk-format routine.

Of the remaining 256K bytes of re~

served memory , you can use 64K bytes Benchmark Standings

(or 60K bytes in a I -megabyte system) to The Premiurn/386 offers performance

load AST's expanded memory manager, that lies between that of the 16-MHz IBM

ASTEMM.SYS, leaving 192K bytes (196K PS/2 Model 80 and that of the 20-MHz

byte in a I-megabyte system) for use as Compaq Deskpro 386/20. In the low

Expanded Memory Specification (EMS) level memory-access testS, the Premium/

4.0 memory . Like similar drivers from 386 performed the Sieve and Sort bench

other vendors, ASTEMM.SYS also use the marks nearly as fas! the Compaq, but in

80386 proces or's hardware memory the String Move and Matrix operations,

paging capability to emulate EMS 4.0 it dipped to the level of the Model 80.

using standard 32-bit and 16-bit extended Here the Premiurnl386' static-column

memory. 386MAX aJso knows how to architecture had a negative effect.

add the Prem.ium/386's reserved mem

On the floating-point benchmarks,

ory to its pool of EMS memory.

the Premiurnl386 fell between the Model

My ooJy complaint with this alloca 80 and the Deskpro in all th.ree tests . It

tion scheme is that 64K bytes of the 128K was a consi ·tent 26 percent fa ter than

bytes of Shadow RAM (the segment be the Model 80, and it ranged from lO per

ginning at EOOO:OOOOh) is wasted if you cent to 20 percent slower than the Desk

don't run an AST video adapter. That pro 386/ 20.

segment is unavailable to other adapters The Disk UO tests show that the per

(e.g., a network card) or programs that formance of AST's Control Data hard

might otherwise be able to use it. disk drive with Western DigitaI's con

386MAX, for example, could have used troller is nearly identical to that of the

it for program loading. You can regain Compaq's drive. The two exceptions are

the use of the segment by disabling Shad the DOS Seek I-sector test, where the

ow RAM, but then you lose the speed ad Premium/ 386 was some 30 percent

vantage of running the BIOS from RAM . fa ter, and the I-megabyte Write test,

Up and Running 

where the Premium/386 performed about 20 percent faster than the Compaq.

Getting the machine running is simple , 
 The Premium/386's performance in

thanks to AST's well-written and well
 the Video benchmark wa disappoint

illustrated directions . To run the ROM 
 ing . The Compaq wa consistently fa ter

base-0 setup program, you press and hold 
 in both text and graphics tests . The

any key during the boot process. When 
 Model 80 performed better than the Pre

the machine displays an error message, 
 mium/386 in the text benchmarks, and

you pre Ctrl-Al t-Esc to enter the set
 the Premium/386 barely edged out the

up program. AST also supplies a RAM
 IBM in graphic modes .

based version of the setup program. 

The applications benchmark gener

The setup information occupies two ally correspond to the low-level bench screens. If you've ever used an AT clone mark re ults . In most tasks, the Pre

with a BrOS written by Award Software, mium/386 lagged behind the Compaq

AST's setup program will be familiar to and was 10 percent to 50 percent fa ter

you . With auto-slowdown enabled a.nd than the Model 80 . Overall , a user run

the system operating at its fastest speed, ning disk-intensive applications wouldn 't

proces ing slows to the XT-compatible notice much difference between the Pre

speed (4 .77 MHz) whenever the system mium/386 and the Compaq. Applica

accesses the floppy disk.

tions relying more heavily on computa

During operation, you can change tion and graphics output would find the

speed at any time by pressing Ctrl-Alt Compaq somewhat faster.

Up to increase peed or Ctrl-Alt-Down to

decrease speed. You can also execute What Runs

SPEED.EXE to switch among high (20 The Premium/386 had no trouble run

MHz), medium (8-MHz), low (4.77 ning the following software: DESQview

MHz) , or default speed, or to enable and


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2.01 (with QEMM), 386MAX, Win dows/386, Window 2.0, AST's version ofOS/2, Concurrent DOS 386, WordStar 4.0 , a beta release of WordStar 5 .0, Turbo Pascal 4.0, T-DebugPLUS 4.0, Procomm 2.4.2 , Microsoft BASIC 6.0 , Lotus 1-2-3 ver ion 2.01 , VP-Planner 1.0, Professional CED I.Ola, Brooklyn Bridge l.30, Desk.Link 1.0612.16, Auto CAD 9 .0 , AutoSketch enhanced version I .OJ, Excel 2.0, and PageMaker 1.0.
AST's optional OS/2 software let you boot either DOS or OS/2 from the ha rd
djsk. In addition , AST's OS/2 leaves
your hard disk better organized than does IBM's. It tores only a dozen or so files in the root directory, versu three or four dozen with IBM's version. The rest it stores in the OS2 directory and in other subdirectories below it.
As fo r hardware, I had no problems installing and using a Microsoft Serial Mouse, a Quadram JT Fax board, a BocaRAMIAT extended memory board, or a Paradise AutoSwitch monochrome EGA card . Hov.ever, I did have problems in tailing Orchid's Designer VGA and Paradise's VGA Plus boards on my re v iew machine. With either card intailed , the machine became exLremely unstable, sometimes refusing to boot and at other time era bing unexpectedly, es pecially when I changed speeds using the keyboard commands. Also, the Orchid board simply wouldn't fit into the ma chine unless I removed the mounting bracket.
AST said it had not tested the Orchid board, but it claimed that the Paradise board was compatible. The oompany sent a second machine, and this time the
boards worked flawlessly. Both ma
chine were u ing BIOS ver ion 1.2 .
Supporting Details The Premium/386 has a 220-watt power supply and carries an FCC Class B certi
fication , which means it' approved for home u e. The motherboard, measuring about JO by 13 inche. , i djvided into three areas. At the rear left are seven ex
pansion slots. At the rear right are the pe
ripheral interfaces (serial and parallel ports and the disk controlJer). The front halfof the board holds most ofthe system logic, including the CPU, math copro cessor, BIOS EPROMs, keyboard con troller, and 1/0 decoding . In tead of mounting memory on the motherboard , however , AST put it on a 32-bit card. The overall workmanship of the motherboard is excellent; there are only three jumper wires on the back of the board.
The Premium/386' keyboard is the same unit that ship with the Premium/

286. Its mushy feel is disappointing, given the overall quality of the system.
Finally, my EGA monitor had a tilt and-swivel stand, but I couldn't tilt the monitor forward from the upright po i tion . Counterbalancing that fault, how ever, are the front-mounted power switch and brightnes and contrast controls .
Technical support is available for the price of a phone call. The technician I talked to was knowledgeable about im ple setup and operational questions but weak in knowledge about wait states, re served memory, and similar topic . A local dealer fared somewhat better, however.
The machine carries a 12-month pans and labor warranty (after hipping from an authorized AST reseller, or 14 months from AST, whichever comes first).
The Cost Effect If perfonnance is paramount and money i no object, there are faster machines (Compaq's De kpro 386/20 and ALR's FlexCache 20386, for example). How ever you can buy a Premiuml386 Model 390 with VGA adapter and monitor for $9585, whereas a comparably equipped Compaq costs about $11,400. Ia other words, the Prernium/386 costs 85 per cent of the Compaq price , but it provides more than 85 percent of the perfonnance overall.
Also, the performance of AST's new 16-bit VGA card (released too late for this review) may equal or exceed the video perfonnance of the Compaq and other machine , for just a few hundred dollar over the Prernium/386's current price .
On the other hand, the motherboard ha no on-board video, regular memory, or cache memory. But because graphics standard are evolving o rap idly, the lack of a built-in video adapter is an advaatage- you can upgrade that portion of the system a your needs require.
AST's SmartSlot architecture is a po tential advantage for the Premium/386 , if vendors design products that take ad vantage of its features . AST has pub· lished SmartSlot's specifications and has instituted a libera.I licensing policy . But even if SmartSlot doesn't take off, the Premium/386 till provide good perfor mance for a good price. ·
Jeff Holtzman owns Publishing Con cepts, a finn specializes in evalllil tion, verification, and documentation of high-technology products. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan , and can be reached on BIX as "editors. "

TimeWand®- Organizing Information 

Docum9nt Control Report 
 Fiie Room ·5 

September 4, 1987 

&·pl oy··

O at.·

Jone· k<:ount

1'ennl· a.t..

D.a 'lll ~Clfl 1'CC4W'lt

P.·uUl\tl 'r u

SaU.h R4 r··

P·-ul1n4 "Tower·

Ch· r l l· Account
D..ker rn.

P·"U.li11· To-r1 Matth·-v W..b·t·r

11111 hH.ut:tl Sudfol·l Kalt.h·'W' 'iAeb !l t·r

TrQwbddi;l· bpo[\

*lthev ~t4r

Mvec-tl.· lru; , lan

'64 rb Milch

Wboratory Rea11.1lt· 8.trb Ki1ch

...._t11"9 Note.»

B.illrb Kiu h

c:t.rth C'orr·sparYt."C· Jlennl· &lte..1

..rvly CompuUt S·LH htll'll.· ..u ..

C~tc· Stiad:f


OOUI~ h l l H-

.....t\.b·V W..bnet 910Jlt1'

m::! ["oe~~,~~ oat~·F.e;~ j~m:~

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 Fax Board Faire 

Facsimile boards offer high-speed text and graphics file transfers from the desktop
Brock N. Meeks
DatllCOp)I '· Micmmx (top) boasts a Hayes oompatihle modem and wppon for AlllOCAD files : Quadram's JT Fu 4800 (bottom) offers basic fu: ca,pabilities for under $400.

image quality and the ability to store image files to disk . Regular RJ-11 con nectors tie them into your telephone line, giving you the option of voice or fax transmission .

The latest high-tech c.atchphrase is the trendy-sounding "image communications." This entails sending bit-mapped text and graphics information across a city, or
across continents, simply by inserting a document into a fac imile machine and pressing a button. In 30 seconds or less, an exact duplicate crawls out of the re mote machine. It's a heady process, and it's easier to comprehend than the tele phone . Now implementation s of this technology on microcomputers are gain ing popularity.
If the last fax machine you were ac
quainted with was that hulking monster in the corner of the mail room, look
again. The newest fax machines are smaller, cheaper. and easier to use than some multibutton telephones. Micro
computer fax cards share much of the same simplicity while offering better

What, Me Fax? The appeal of fax technology isn't so much due to its trendy high-tech status as to its down-to-earth practicality. Fax can marry graphics images with pages of text and send those documents from Toledo to Tibet in a matter of seconds-some· thing that anyone who has tap-danced on a tight deadline or winced at the price of sending documents by overnight courier can appreciate. And since fax is virtuaJly instantaneous, it can salvage a deadline for the price of a phone call.
Fax cards fit into a standard slot in
your microcomputer and support the 9600-bit-per-second CCIIT Group III fax standard. (See the text box "How Fax Works" on page 204.) The cards also in clude software for converting ASCII text
and graphics files to bit-mapped fax image rne . Once you've converted a file, you can store it, fax it to another ma chine, or print it out.
Fax cards aren't intended to replace the traditional fax machine, but to turn the desktop into a communications cen ter with full graphics capabilities. Still, fax cards do have some distinct advan tages over their stand-alone cousins.
One advantage is better image quality . A traditional fax machine is convenient; you simply insert a document, dial the remote machine, and press a button. But what stand-alone fax gives you in conve nience, you give up in quality. Chunky, jagged fonts printed on flimsy thermal t ran sfer paper are the trademark of stand-alone fax machines. These look bad, in part, because they 're third-gen eration copies. The document usually starts out as a file, which you then print. Next, you feed the document into the fax machine, which scans it and sends it to



How Fax Works 

A !though current fax technology zips a.long at 9600 bps, the road to these high-speed image was a
long one. The ability to transmit bit-mapped
images isn't new ; the technology to
uan mit signal over a wire and onto
paper bas been around since Alexander
Bain patented such a device in 1842, and newspapers have used the wire ser vices to transmit photographs for de cades. So what took so long? ln a word : taodards. There were none.
Fax machines became popular only after the mid-1960s, when the CCIIT (International Telephone and Telegraph
Consultative Commiuee) hammered out the world's first set offax transmis ion taodards, called Group I . Since then, the CCITI has developed three other sets of standards (Groups II through IV). Each successive standard has provided fax technology with a
quant\llll leap both in image quality and transmis ion speed .
The Group I and Group II standanls are based on analog technology. Early Group I fax machines operated much like a 300-bps modem and took 6 min utes to send a single page. Group II ma chines, introduced in the mid- 1970s, improved resolution and cut transmis ion time to 3 minutes per page . These
are the fax machines mo t people prob
ably remember dealing with in the mail room . They were unwieldy and were prone t.o jamming and telephone line noise. A fair number of Group II ma chines are still around .
The big break in fax technology came in 1980 when the CCIIT approved the 9600-bps Group Ill standard; most fax machines and fax cards today conform to It. Group ill broke away from the an alog world by implementing digital image scanning and data compression methods.
Many Group Ill products use the Rockwell V.29 chip set, which uses tbe CCITI V.29 half-dupl.ex 9600-bp file transmission standard and the Modified Huffman compression scheme. Fax ma ch ines use this scheme to compress much of the white space in a document . The fax image file is compressed en route to the remote machin.e· on arrival, it is decompressed (decoded) for storing to disk or printing.
The top-end resolution for Group IU
fax machine is 200 dpi . A typical

Iran milted page in normal resolution (actually 203 dpi horizontal by 98 lines per inch) takes from 15 to 2-0 seconds on
a "clean" phone line. However, many documents, especially those with lots of graphics, are transm.itt.ed in fine mode which increases the vertical resolution to 196 lines per inch and doubles the transmission time. 1f your fax ca.rd hap pens to have gray-scaling capability (the ability to read and transmit subtle shades of gray), the transmission time can be even longer. But the results can make it worth the wait. What you give up in economy and speed. you make up for in quality.
Fax transmissions don't use any error-checking protocols. Whi le this optimizes throughput, it makes fu transmissions susceptible to " data hits," which result in tiny boles in an. image. However, data hits aren't as crit ical for images as they are for other types of data, such as program oode.
Another nice feature of Group Ill fax transm.issions is that they have auto matic faHback: protocols. If a Group Ill machine is tra.nsmitting to a Group II machine, for example, it automatically fall back to the slower Group 11 trans fer rate. In addition, if it can't estabUsh a connection a.t 9600 bps due to poor line quality, it will try to connect al 7200 bps, and then at 4800 bps.
The Group IV standard, approved last January, is a bit ahw of its time. To use a Group IV-compatible fax, you must have a leased telephone Line or
connect to an Integrated Services Digi tal Network (ISON), which has yet to
become widely available. Group IV compatible machines, at about $10,<XX>, are high-priced, but you do get a dra matic increase in performance: 30 pages per minute at 400 dpi. Federal Express based its ill-fated Zap Mail ser vice on Group IV fax.
While the fax industry looks to the day when lSDN becomes a reality, at least one promising advance awaits im plementation in the Group III arena. Last September, Rockwell announced a compact, CMOS low-power, fuH-du
plex V.32 9600-bps modem board, called the R9696DP. E entially a modem on a chip, this board promises to change the complexion of the fax card market by allowing such cards to sup port fuJl-duplex fax or modem trans missions at 9600 bps.

204 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

the remote fax , which prints it again. This process of converting and printing the document file lowers image quality significaotJy.
By contrast, documents created on a personal computer and sent from a fax card require no intermediate conver sions, so they produce first-generation documents. If you happen to be sending an image file to another fu card, it's possible to store the image to di k or out put it to a laser printer. Anyone familiar with the less-than-stellar thermal-prim quality of a fax document is in for a pleasant surprise: Laser-printed fax doc uments are crisp, and line drawings are clean and precise (see figure 1).
Fax Card Features
Like modem , fax cards have two RJ-11 jacks; one connects to th.e telephone line, and the other attaches to the telephone. The first input lets the fax dial and send and receive documents, often working in background or unattended mode. Al
though your telephone shares a line with
the fax card, telephone use isn t ham pered . Io fact, most fax cards let you ini tiate a voice call , send a fax during the call by pressing a function key , and then resume your conversation.
Software is the key 10 differentiating between fax cards. Some of the products reviewed here are "bare bones" units that offer conversion of ASCII files to bit-mapped fu. image files, but not much else. Others are packed with an array of bells and whislles. If your fax need don't go beyond transntining text docu ments and an occasional graph or two, then a fax card without all the fancy fea tures should serve you well. However, if you're looking for a full-function card, you'll want to cbeck into some of the more advanced features.
Two key features included with most fax cards are unattended (automatic) polling, and broadcasting. With auto matic polling, you configure your fax 10 call a designated group of other fax num bers at a specified time to see if they have anything to deliver. To broadcast a docu ment, you specify a list of telephone numbers you want a document faxed to at a specific time; transmission then occurs automatically . Some fax cards limit the number of locations you can put into a list; others Jet you string together multi ple lists to broadcast to a virtually un limited number of machines. Broadcast capability makes it easy to schedule transmiss ions in the early morning hours, when telephone rates are lowest. And when your fax card isn ' t sending those documents , it can receive fax



transmi sions or poll other machines. Another consideration is whether you
can view files on-screen before printing or faxing them. Most fax cards support this capability. Seeing how a file will look before faxing it helps ensure that the receiver will get the correct image. An other handy feature is background-mode operation, which lets you work on a spreadsheet or word-processing file while sending a fax.
You may want a fax card that accepts optical scanner input. Some cards in clude special optical-character-recogni tion (OCR) software for this purpose. Others may also include a port to connect the scanner directly to the fax card. A re lated feature is the ability to accept and transmit gray-scale images- a crucial feature for transmitting multicolor draw ings or photographs. Fax cards with gray-scale capability pick up and trans mit subtle shades.
Not all fax cards are compatible with every graphics fonnat. Be sure tbat the conversion software supports TJFF (Tag Image File Format) if you 're using Page Maker, .PCX files for PC Paintbrush , .PLT files for AutoCAD, and so on.
Most cards keep some kind of "activ ity log " that stores information about the fax transfer process. This lets you moni tor fax transmissions and determine if any transntission failures have occurred. Some cards also include a modem, mak ing maximum use of the computer's slot. Finally, you should make sure that the fax card supports your printer.
lTials and Tribulations I tested 10 fax cards on an IBM XT com patible with a 20-megabyte hard disk drive, a Hercules graphics card, and 640K bytes of RAM. All tests were run at 8 MHz. See the table on page 206 for a listing of the products and their features .
Before reviewing the results, a few ca veats are in order. First, converting files from ASCII to fax with a system running any slower than 8 MHz is unbearably slow . Second, converted fax images gob ble dis.k space, so leave plenty of room on your hard disk. A typical page of text re quires about 60K bytes of storage as a fax image file; a detailed, multi -gray-scale picture can eat up as much as 500,000K bytes .
Also, if you 're a fan of RAM-resident programs, break your habit, at least when you 're using fax software to con vert files to fax images. More than once, after I waited minutes for a fax image conversion to fiojsh, the entire system locked up because I didn't have enough RAM overhead.

Isomelric inlerseclion Isometric inte rsec tion
Figure 1: The image at left is an AutoCAD file that was printed on a LaserJet 11
and transmitted between standard fax machines. The image al right is the same file, sem between PCfax cards and output to the same printer.

I also experienced problems when exiting from some fax card programs. Not al I software packages would issue error reports; some locked my machine up and I had to reboot. Here again, you have to watch what programs you have in RAM . It's a trial-and-error process, un fortunately, as none of the manuals give specifics on which RAM-resident pro grams may cause problems.
That said, here are the highlights of my experience with IO fax cards.
Brooktrout Technology's Fax-Mail card comes in three versions: the $599 9600 bps fax card reviewed here, a 2400-bps model ($399), and a 4800-bps model ($499). For the difference in price, I can't imagine why anyone would opt for the slow speed of the 2400-bps fax card .
The Fax-Mail 96 includes the ability to merge text files with letterhead . Get ting the letterhead encoded as a bit mapped fax image file requires a scan ner, however. You could input a printed copy of the letterhead from a stand -alone fax machine, but the image quality would leave much to be desired.
Brooktrout's Chop feature separates a received fax image into different files. For example, you can cut both the letter head and the signature from an original fax so you can merge them into other fax documents. You can also use PC Paint brush to clean up the letterhead or other images .
Other features include Supershow, which lets you scale down a multipage fax image so you can view multiple pages on your screen, and a printer capture op tion that can ere.ate a fax image file from word-processing files sent to the printer

port in Epson FX-80 format. The latter converts text and attributes (such as bold facing and italics) to fax image files . Fax-Mai l also supports several word processor file formats , including M1cro oft Word and WordPerfect.
Conversion software transforms ASCII and PC Paintbrush files to fax image files, and it also can convert fax image files back to PC Paintbrush .
If any fax card marches to the beat of a different drummer , Quadram 's JT Fax is it. Although this is the least expensive of the cards reviewed , it offers severa l heavyweight features that make it ideal for smal I business or personal use.
One standout feature of this card is the way it converts files to fax images . With most fax cards, you must run all files through a conver ion process before transmitting them. The large size of fax image files quickly depletes hard disk real estate, however. In contrast, the JT Fax does file conversion on the fly . It de termines what type of file it's going to send, and after making a connection with a remote machine, it converts the file as it's transmitted.
This approach has one small draw back: It limits the board 's speed to 4800 bps. The slower speed shouldn't be a problem for the occasional fax user , however, and the board's low price and the fact that your disk drive isn 't clut tered with several SOK-byte-plus files is adequate compensation.
The JT Fax accepts input from an ex ternal scanner and le.ts you send docu ments to another fax or to your printer as they ' re scanned, without first storing



Product and company
Fu-llmll91 Brooktrout Technology. Inc.
JTFu4800 Quad ram Corp. The CGmplN Fu The Comple(e PC

$599 $395 $499

Speed (bps)

RAM required {byte·)

Board 8'ze





Scanner !)()n











MFAXHP Microtek Lab, Inc.
Fec81mflePK DestCorp.


EIT, Inc.

$1095 $995

MICf'Ofax Datacopy Corp.


FucerdlFex . . . , _ SpectraFAX Corp./Panasoric Industrial Co.
SmartFax American Data Technology. Inc.

$999 $949

9600 9600
9600 9600

256K 640K
640K 640K


























them to disk . The unit does not operate in background mode, however.
Another feature is support for gray scaJe images, and there is another utility that automaticaJJy merges text with an image file containing your letterhead and signature. Again, the process occurs on th.e fly.
The Complete Fax The Complete Fax is a low-cost, muJti featured fax card from The Complete PC that operates at 4800 bps. The Complete PC doesn't make grandiose claims; it simply promises fax transmission capabilities. It delivers.
You can create fax documents from PC Paintbrush, Windows Paint, and Dr. HALO formatted files, and you can store these converted documents in either standard or fine mode. (Fine mode is 203 by 196 dots per inch, which eats disk space at four times the rate of the stan

dard 203- by 98-dpi mode.) The file con version process is one of the quickest I
tested. The Complete Fax's Facsimile Direc
tory func·tion lets you overlay any fax image with another. Thi merging func tion gives you crude, but effective,
graphics manipulation capability. How ever, it's easier to just convert the files to . PCX or another graphics format, mas sage them with apaint program, and turn them back into fax files again. lf your word processor includes an Epson MX
printer driver, you can also send text files with all attributes .
An option, The Complete Hand Scan ner ($249), works in tandem with The
Complete Fax. The scanner is a glitzy, mouse-type device that scans images up to 21h inches wide by l0 inches long. You can store the images in any file format compatible with The Complete Fax. The
scanner is great for scanning logos, line

art, and letterheads. It also includes cus tom software, cal led Soft Stationery, that lets you create any kind of letterhead you can scan into your computer.
Another card, the CFAXJ9600 ($599), was introduced too late to include in this review. This 9600-bps fax card features a scanner interface port, an optional 2400 bps modem, a mail-merge function, and Epson FX print-capture capability .
MFAX96P The MFAX96P fax card is an appendage of Microtek Lab's scanner line. Six months ago this board was a bad deal . Today, it's an adequate implementation of fax technology.
Version I. IL of MFAX's software left much to be desired, includjng the glaring omission of an ability to view a fax image file on your monitor before transmitting it. The beta c.opy of version 2.0 that I re viewed has solved that problem.

206 B YT E · SEPTEMB.ER 1988



Background mode Polllng

Ma.xlmum broadcast

Printers supported

Software features

Standard flles converted









Send/receive, print












Unlimited Unlimited
Unlimited Unlimited
Unlimited Untimited
100 999

Epson, IBM, HP LaserJet, others
Epson, IBM, Toshiba. HP LaserJet , others Epson FX, Toshiba. IBM Graphics., NEC, HP
LaserJet, others
Epson FX, LO: Canon, HP laser: others 
 Epson FX, IBM
Graphia, Toshiba, IBM Matrix, HP LaserJet, others
Epson, HP LaserJet. others
Epson, IBM. Fujitsu. NEC, Toshiba: Canon,
HP laser: others
Epson FX, Toshiba, IBM Graphics, NEC, HP LaserJet, others
Epson, NEC, Toshiba, Panasonic, HP Lase<Jet. others
Epson FX, LO; IBM Graphics: Canon, HP
laser; others

Text/graphics editor
Au1oma1ic file conversion, help
Help, cover-page
generation, graphics editor
Mail-merge fax, image
file encryption
Help. text and image merging
Help, windows, LAN support
Help, text editor , direct printing ol incoming fax. automatic file conversion Graphics editor
Help, graphics editor. area-code lookup, blank page creation

ASCII, PC Paintbrush, formatted Epson FX-80 I word-processing files ASCII, PC Paintbrush
ASC II , Dr. HALO, PC Paintbrush, Microsoft W'indOINS Paint, Epson MX·formatted word-
processing files ASCII. TIFF 

ASCH, Or. HALO, PC Paintbrush
ASCJl,AutoCAD, Dr. H.ALO, PC Paintbrush, TI FF, Hewlett·Pacl<ard
HPGL plotter files ASCII , PC Paintbwsh,
ASCII, PC Paintbrush, many v.ord-prooessing
ASCII, TIFF, Dr. HALO , PC Paintbrush, WordStar

High point of the new software in clude the ability to print documents at either 204 by 196 dpi or 300 by 300 dpi. This lets you expand a fax image to 300 dpi when printing to a laser printer, which is handy if you've received a fax that's formatted on a desktop publishing program .
You can also send a text file without ruaning it through the conversion pro gram. This solves the MFAX's earlier problem of having to break multipage documents into separate files before con verting them . When you choose an ASCII file for faxing, the software auto matically converts it to a fax image, as long as the file has a .TXT extension.
The program's built-in editor Jets you create memos without exiting to your WQrd processor. This is handy when you need to fax quick notes, but for extensive text processing, you'll still want to use your word processor.

The Easy Send feature lets you send
hard-copy documents through a scanner to the MFAX card and on to another fax machine with the press of a key . This feature is so simple that even the most paranoid tech nophobe can handle send· ing a fax from the computer. Also, the MFAX96P has a built-in scanner port, so you can add a scanner without giving up
an extra slot in your computer.
I have two gripes about this unjt. First, the board requires you to set more hard ware switches than does any other fax card, and the process isn't well docu mented. Other fax cards operate on a "plug and go" principle; I don't know why Microt.ek chose to make the user do
aJI the work. Also, wh.ile the MFAX supports TIFF
files, there is no facility to convert files from any paint programs; you have to either scan pictures into the system or forget about sending graphics. EyeStar

Plus software, included with Microtek scanners, converts PC Paintbrush and Windows Paint files to fax image files, but for this you have to purchase a scan ner, which ranges from $995 to $3995.
Facsimile Pac Dest's Facsimile Pac has two noteworthy options. The first is a 1200-bps Hayes compatiblemodem ($129). The second is a plug-in chip ($195) on the fax card that provides full Department of Defense Data Encryption Standard (DES) en cryption capability.
The DES chip is a serious-minded (and handy) capabi lity, although the documentation , wbkb reads like back yard mystery theater, takes itself perhaps too seriously. One passage reads: " Use this option to send and receive confiden tial documents in secret code" (italics added).

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y TE 207


For security at both end Lhe DES chip establishes a public key (key A) be tween the two machines. Tbjs is common to the encrypted message . However, a second, private key (key B) is known only to the receiver. If both keys don't match, the message remains crambled.
Like the MFAX, Lhe Facsimile Pac card includes a scanner port, saving a card slot if you decide to add a scanner.
Fae imile Pac upports file conver ion, printing, and sending and receiving files in background mode. The software operate as a terminate-and-stay-re idenc (TSR) program that you can invoke with in other applications to send files. It also lets you set up a rather sophisticated tele marketing blitz using fax machines : By inserting "tags" into your text, you can create a mail-merge application that sends mass mailings via fax.
Dest has provided a fax card with an impre ive array of features. If you need
the security of DES encryption (when
transmitting confidential contracts, for example), you hould think seriously about the Facsimile Pac. You certainly
. don't lose any capability; in fact, the card is of .inte.lligent de ign, and the software
.~ is more than adequate. For those who
want sophisticated scanner support and multiple fax options, this is the product.
pc-Fax EIT's pc-Fax provides the usual host of feature , including polling, laser-printer
upporl , and a funky background mode
for receiving image files . Contrary to what the name implies,
"background" mode is only in the back ground until called on to receive a fax. When pc-Fax picks up a carrier lone, it automatically halts everything-your computer locks up and becomes hostage to the fax transfer. Although this acts as an "in urance policy" for the reliability of the fax transfer, it's annoying to have your work flow uddeoJy and unexpecr edly grind to a halt for a incoming fax. EIT says it is working on true back ground-mode capability. . The card also has a built-in binary transfer capability that runs on the IBM
PC AT and compatibles at the blazing
rate of9600 bps, as long as each end runs a pc-Fax board. With vanilla PCs, the transfer rate lows to 4800 bp . (Other fax cards with binary transfer capability performed similarly.) The software uses pull-down menus and provides mouse support.
The pc-PAX's OCR capability recog nizes four fonts and converts them to ASCII fo r mat. In addition, you can "teach" the software lo recognize other

fonts . The pc-Fax card is perhap the most versa1ile of tbe bunch at turning hard copy into a machine-readable format.
GammaFax Gamma.Link was one of the earliest play er in the fax card market, and that expe rience hows in the number of features its Gammafax card offers. The latest ver sion of the software (4.0D) is a vast im provement over an earlier version I re ceived, which didn 't function properly when sending a fax during a voice-initi ated call.
Features include the ability to write batch fiJes to, for eMmple, send a text file from one microcomputer to anocher microcomputer's Gamma.Fax card via a local-area network. Al o, a cut-and paste function lets you cut out sections of
a fax image such as a logo or a ignature ,
and put them into separate files. Like the pc-Fax board, Gamma.Fax
can also perform binary file transfers be tween PCs or ATs and compatibles using Oammafax boards at 4800 and 9600 bps, respectively. You can also purchase a version of the GanunaFax card that in
cludes a 1200-bps Hayes-compatible
modem for an extra $200. GammaFax ' oftware converts
ASCII , Dr. HALO, PC Paintbrush AutoCAD, TIFF, and Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language (HPGL) plotter files. If you haven't converted your file before it's queued to send, the software will automatically convert it to a fax image.
GammaLinJc technical upport helped solve a problem I had with converting
from ASCII to fax image files- this was the previously mentioned RAM overhead problem caused by TSR programs. Fi na.Hy, the documentation i well written
and includes numerous tips sections, set apart from the main text by italics.
Datacopy's Microfax is the standard again t which to measure other PC fax cards. Microfax 's documentation is straightforward, and Datacopy seem to have a clear idea of the proper role of a fax card.
After crawling through thousands of pages of documentation for other cards that was either poorly printed or "type set" on the fir t available letter-quality printer, the documentation supplied with Microfax was a sight for sore eyes. Am ple use of white space and crisp typefaces gave me the impression that the company cared about its product. That impression wasn't mi leading.

Easy-to-use menu screens and simple file-conversion procedures make the Microfax' software tand out. The Microfax can conve rt TIFF and PC Paintbrush fiJes, and AutoCAD convert files to the Microfax' s proprietary . IMC image fonnat. The unit also includes a 1200-bps Hayes-compatible modem that worked flawlessly . If you're sending a fi1e to a remote PC with a Microfax card, you can al o take advantage of the card's 9600-bps binary file-transfer capability.
Datacopy is known for its scanners, so it' no surprise that Microfax is compat ible with a host of units. Microfax tore scanned files to disk as an image file be fore letting you send them to another fax machine. Optional OCR software ($695) converts between fax images and a vari  ety of word-processing format . The scanner software recognizes 19 fonts, and you can program it to recognize others.
FaxcardfFax Partner Ease of use and attention to detail are the
hallmarks of SpectraFAX's Faxcard. Panason.ic also licenses this board as the Fax Partner, which is identical in every respect to the Faxcard. SpectraFAX has gone out of its way to make th ings easy ,
including buiJcling the fax card around
the 8081 microprocessor and stuffing the 3/4-length board with 256K bytes of RAM , which isn't cheap these days.
The 8081 gives the fax card a certain independence not found in other prod ucts. Thi i handy if you plan to send and receive fax documents in back ground mode . Most fax cards will slow the application you're currently working on when the fax card goes into action . But because the 8081 processes the fax transmjssion , even a system running at 4.77 MHz isn't affected.
This card gets a special nod for the way it converts file . You don't have to agonize through the tedious conversion process. Instead , sending a file entails nothing more than selecting it with a highlight bar. The software then takes care of al I conver ion before transmitting it to the remote fax.
The Faxcard/Fax Partner automati cally convert images it receives to a pro prietary .PCX-type format. You can only manipulate the graphics format files through a built-in graphics editor, how ever. This feature relieves you from fum bling with several file formats, but it limits you to working with PC Paint brush files. As extensive as the graphics editor is (the 320-plus-page manual con tain 134 pages of instruction on how to

208 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

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Company Information 

American Data Technology, Inc. 44 West Bellevue Dr., Suite 6 Pasadena CA 9 1105 (818) 578-1339 Inquiry 923.
Brooktrout Technology, Inc. 
 110 Cedar St. 
 Wellesley Hills , MA 02181 
 (617) 235-3026 Inquiry 924.
Tbe Complete PC
521 Cottonwood Dr. Milpitas, CA 95035 (408) 434-0145 Inquiry 925.
Datacopy Corp. 1215 Terra Bella Ave. Mountain View, CA 94043 (415) 965-7900 Inquiry 926.
Dest Corp. 1201 CadiUac Court Milpitas, CA 95035 (408) 946-7100 Inquiry 927.
EIT.Inc. 25 Jut Rd. Fairfield, NJ 07006 (201) 227-1447 Inquiry 928.

GammaLink. 2452 Embarcadero Way Palo Alto , CA 94303 (415) 856-7421 Inquiry 929.
Microtek Lab, Inc. 16901 South Western Ave. Gardena, CA 90247 (213) 321-2121 Inquiry 930.
Panasonk Industrial Co. Two Panasonic Way Secaucus, NJ 07094 (20 l) 348-7000 Inquiry 931.
Quadram Corp. One Quad Way Norcross, GA 30093 (404) 923-6666 Inquiry 932.
Spe<:traFAX Corp. 209 South Airport Rd .
aples, FL 33942 (813) 643-5060 Inquiry 933.

use it), it's only adequate , at best for most advanced graphics needs. The fax card seems more useful for transferring te:itt documents.
Transmitting any kind of ASCII file with thi card i ea y . However, you can broadcast to a maximum of only 10 ma chines per list, although you can string together up to 10 lists to broadcast to up to 100 machines per session. The soft ware converts files from a variety of word-processing formats, including WordStar, Microsoft Word, and Word Perfect.
SmartFax from American Data Technol ogy comes in a slick, fire-engine-red box. The documentation manuals are al o slick , fire-en.gine-red. Unfortu nately , that's as slick as it gets. Once you've logged your way through a te dious setup procedure, you're ready to decipher a manua1 "typeset" on some-

one's letter-qualiry printer. A special software module handJes
file conversion. The manual makes a point of telling you that you don't need to convert files beforehand, thus wasting di k pace, because Smartfax can ban· die such a feat when the transmission se quence begins . But just a few paragraphs later, the manual warns against transmit ting documents on the fly. The rea on: U you're converting a big document, it could take a long , long time- and chew up disk space in IOOK-byte chunk , to boot.
SmartFaxsupportsDr. HALO, TIFF, PC Paintbrush, and WordStar files . It also includes a small graphics editor that is woefully lacking . It can rotate an image and cut and paste , but 001 much el e. Yet the manual spend an inordinate number of pages teaching how to use it.
When you get ready to transmit a document, you can choose to display the world' time 2.0nes on your screen with

the hours ( + and - ) as they relate 10
Greenwich mean time. In addition , SmartFax includes a built-in database of worldwide area code .
A new version of the Smartfax soft ware , and a new board , the SmartFax Plus, were introduced too late for th is re view. The software is now RAM-re i deot and offers ao FX-80 print-capture ability. The new card includes an on board 8188 with 512K bytes of RAM and a 1200-bps modem option .
Fax Me the Envelope, Please the most out of mjcrocomputer
based fax requires a upporting cast of
hardware, such as an image scanner and a laser printer. Scanner are probably the most prevalent option , but they still are considered expen ive extra . In addition , they may take up a precious slot in your computer, and their supporting software eats di k pace. And if you don't already have one, you mjght not be prepared to buy a laser printer just so your fax card can generate high-quality printout . What you save by buying a fax card (for around $1000, compared to $2000 to $3000 for taod-alone machines), you can end up spending many times over on supporting hardware. On the other hand , the convenience of being able to send a fax directly from your computer and the ability to use fax to transmit graphics image files between machines are di  tioct advantages.
The bouom line on fax card · and on fax technology in general, is that they give you ea y access to a fairly complex technology . A tand-alone fax machine i essentially a telephone into which you can insert a piece of paper. With a fax card , you can eliminate the paper at both ends.
Which fax card is the best? That de pends on your application . The JT Fax 4800 has all the features mo t people need for the least amount of money . For a full -featured fax card, Datacopy 's Mi crofax is the best bet. Thi card handle a variety of file formats, includes an on board modem, and is compatible with Datacopy scanners. Although other fax cards offer similar features, Microfax's implementation makes things easier for the user . The documentation is good , file conversion i uncomplicated. and the software's menus are easy lo use. ·
Brock N. Meeks is a San Diego-based freelance writer specializing in high tech  nology. He also writes BYTE's monthly column on microcompwer conunwiica tions. He can be reached on BIX as "brock."


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212 BY T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Cirtlt 259 on Rtiadtr Stfllict Card


Ada Cornes 
 to the Mac 

Does the Mac make a reasonable Ada development system?
Namir Clement Shammas
Tbe Meridian AdaVantage com piler has come to the Apple Mac intosh world from the same com pany that implemented Ada compilers for the lBM PC and the Zilog System 8000 computers. The Mac ver sion reviewed here , which sells for $1195, .is an Ada compiler that works under the Mac Programmer 's Workshop (MPW) shell and its C compiler (see "MPW C for the Mac " by Mike Wilson on page 156 of the February BYTE).

This is because the Ada compiler fir t translate Ada source code into MPW C source code, then invokes the MPW C compiler transparently.
Like its Ada compilers for the PC DOS and MS-DOS computers and Unix systems, Meridian's Mac 2.2 has been officially validated. Meridian offers ad ditional libraries and other utilities (e.g., a math library package and a debugger) to complement the basic compiler pack age. (The debugger was not available for this review.)
Crank It Up
The Meridian AdaVantage compiler is easy to inst.all. I first installed the MPW shell, which is included with the package, and the MPW C compiler (not included) on my hard disk drive. Although this was my first time using the MPW shell, in stallation was smooth. Next, I installed the Meridian Ada compiler, using the manual's clear instructions. While the manual does discuss installation trouble

shooting, I didn't have to worry about that section; the compiler ran on the first try . Also, the setup command adds a menu for operating the computer.
The Ada compiler supports integer and floating-point data types. A short in teger occupie 2 bytes, while an integer requires 4 bytes of memory. A floating point type needs 8 bytes, compared to 4 and 2 bytes required by the long and short fixed-point type , respectively . Fixed-point types have a great appeal for programmers working in "no round-ofr· situations.
The version I reviewed (2.2) does not support the MC6888 l 12-byte represen tation of floating-point numbers. The manual mentions that the compiler im plements the two fixed-point types using integers with imaginary decimals. Re garding advanced data types, Meridian's compi ler supports discriminant records (i.e., they are declared. with arguments that allow client routines to define the record's actual size) and arrays. (Dis criminant arrays have bounds that are de fined as arguments, so the array size is not determined until you actually declare a variable of the array type.)
While AdaVantage supports the com plete text_io package (i.e., the pre defined library unit containing routines for text UO), Meridian include three simpler 1/0 libraries: iio, fio, and ada _io . The iio package is an instantia tion of text_1o.1nteger_1o using the following simple Ada statements:
with text_io ; use text_1o; Ho is new 

text_io.integer_io ( integer) ; 

Similarly, the f1o package is an instanti ation of the text_io .float_io for the float-data type. The ada_io package is a library that contains simple console I/O routines for characters, strings, integers, and float-type data . While Ho, fio, and ada _ io are not part of the standard



AdoVantago 2.2
Type Language comp~er for the Apple Macin osh
Meridian Software Systems, Inc. 23141Verdugo Dr.. Suite 105 Laguna Hill s, CA 92653 (71 4) 380-9800
Two 3Vz-inch double-sided double densi y (800K·byte) floppy disks
Language MPWC
Hardware Needed
Mac with at least 1 megabyte of memory and a hard disk drive with 1.6
megabytes or free space
Software Needed
Mac Programmer's Workshop C 2.0 or higher. System 4.1, and Finder 5.5 or higher

stream, and the diagnostic output stream.
The AdaVantage compiler upport gen erics implemented as macros. The trade off is between the speed gain and the in crease in size of the instantiated generic code. Meridian recommend that, in order to conserve memory. you not ex cessively use instantiation of generic code. To use the generic feature, place the generic code body and its specifica tion in the same compilation file .
AdaVantage permits your Ada source code to interface with assembly and C language. Using the pragma (i.e. , com piler directive) interface, you specify the language, the name of the foreign lan guage subprogram, and its optional link name. For example, you may write a rou tine in MPW C that implements a one line editor and call it oneLineEdit. The code sequence would appear in the gen eral form shown below:

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Price $1195
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/* MPWC */ void one L1neEdit (s ) char* s {

-- Ada.Vantage

package editLine is

procedure oneL1neEd1t ( s :

packages, thei.r inclusion offer unifor


mity among your programs when you in

pre.gme. interfe.ce(c,

evitably create these libraries . 


end editLine;


AdaVantage can access files either a 

with editLine;

arrays of bytes (using d1rect_1o) or as 
 procedure get_Une(s : string)

byte streams (using either sequen


tia l_io or text_io). You can have up 

to 30 files opened at one time . However, 1neEd1t(s);

your available memory can place limita

end get--11ne;

tion on the actual number of open files. 

You use the Mac Hiera.rchicaJ File The reviewed Ada implementation

Sy tem naming convention for referenc supports a somewhat limited form of

ing both filenames and directories (i.e. tasking. AdaVantage does not use true

folder names). Obviously , this can create preemptive tim~slicing to perform task

compatibility problems when porting switching. Instead, the proce sor switch

Ada source code from one operating sys es from one task to another at activation

tem to another; you may need to edit points, entry calls, completions, and

tring constants that represent filenames wait states. So you have to be careful

in programs. Under the MPW shell, your when coding long-lived looping routines

programs can use piping and 1/0 re that do not include proces or- witching

directfon . For example, the MPW com constructs previously mentioned; such

mand Ada._l1sterlsort pipes the output routines can block other tasks from being

of a program lister (written in Ada) into a scheduled. Tbe manual suggests you in

sort application . The MPW shell prede sert into indefinite loops a delay 0 .0,

fines several special devices, such as the which will reschedule the current task .

console a null output device, tbe stan

The priority pragma assign the

dard output stream, the standard input task' priority at compile time. While no

default task priorities are defined by the Ada standard, the AdaVantage compiler assigns the lowest priority as the default value . Each task i assigned its own 2K byte tack space , a value that you can alter in the source code.
lm·oking Ada The Meridian Ada compiler i invoked to compile source code files . These can be stand-alone programs, package specifi cation, package body, or separate sub units. Each type of compiled file re quires a di tinct file exten ion name separated from the main filename by a dot. Meridian provides a number of ver satile compiler switches that determine both major and minor compiling steps. Among these switches is one that simply compiles your Ada ource code into MPW C. Using another switch, you can supplement the output C code with the original Ada code inserted as comments.
Other compiler switches suppress the additional checking that is usually re quired during software development. These include switches for suppressing numeric checking and overall checking. Numeric checking monitors division-by zero and numeric overflow, while over all checking includes numeric checking
as well as checking for violations ofarray
boundaries, string lengths, and so on. Suppressing numeric checking or all types of checking reduces the size of the executable code and increases the pro gram's execution speed.
Another category ofcompiler switche relates to the support of debugging. The -fD witch prepare a compiled file for use with the Meridian AdaVantage De bugger, available as a separate product. The -g witch enables you to use the MacsBug machine-level debugger (thi option is actually passed on to the MPW C compiler and cau e the compi ler to in sert each procedure's name into the gen erated object code) .
Meridian ha integrated an optimizer with its compiler. Using compiler and linker witche · you can optimize for speed or for code ize. If you optimize for code size, the compiler trims the un used portion of code imported from li braries from the resultant program. You can additional speed if you turn off checking and , in ca e you are u ing a Mac II with it tandard MC68020 pro cessor, you can instruct the AdaVantage compiler to emit 68020 instructions.
Meridian provides edaff, a special version of the Ada compiler that is more suited for working with error-riddled source code . You can use the ade.ff com-


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SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY T E 215


Table 1: Benchmark results for optimized and unoptimized runs. (All times are in min:sec.)


Fiie Sl%e (K bytes)

Complle+Hnk time

Source Unoptimized Optimized

Unoptimized Optimized

Sieve Sort Float Invert Matrix
Recursion Disk Write Disk Read






























3 :3 2





Unoptimized Optim ized










0 :1 1


0 :19


0 :13

piler to pipe compilation error messages through the ff utility , where the mes sages are converted to executable editor commands. You can then use these com mands to locate and edit the offending source-<:ode lines in the proper file.
The BAMP (Build Ada Main Program) command invokes the MPW Linker and creates programs that you can launch from. the Mac Finder or the MPW shell. The default action of BAMP is to create an MPW tool, a program that runs only under the MPW shell. You can fine-tune BAMP with options that let you override the default 32K-byte segment size, per form global and local optimization, select an alternate run-time library , and request the output of a link map (i.e., ymbol names and where t.hey are).
The intricate relationship between the variou libraries and compiled units dic tates the u e of library database files . These files permit the compiler to main tain the integrity and version consistency of the compiled code. The Meridian package contains a number of utilities that create, maintain, modify, and re move library databases. When a file is compiled , the information related to that file is added to the library database.
The AdaVantage pull-down menu u e I.he Mac user interface for invoking the AdaVantage compiler, BAMP, other li brary management commands, and a HyperCard-based on-line help. The user interface provided through the pull-down menu is attractive. The screen contain option buttons, command switches, an internally generated command-line win dow , and a help window .
The option bultons enable you to select the operational switches, program names , library names , and so forth. Using I.he mouse, you click at the com mand switch boxes to turn the commands on or off. If you click the mouse and hold the button down , the help window dis play a short description for tbat switch. As you elect options , program files , and

libraries, the command-line window i automatically updat.ed to reflect th.e cur rent choices. You can execute the com mand easily by clicking on a special but ton. The HyperCard help stack contains an on-line reference for components of the compiler and their commands.
Stack It Up I ran the various Ada compilers through a suite of benchmarks . The programs I de veloped for the compi!er 1est are based on popular operations, such as sorting and matrix inversion. The first three bench marks I used were the Sieve test; integer array Sort test, in which an ord.ered a.rray of 1000 integers is created and reverse sorted using the Shell-Metzner method; and the Floating-Point operations test , which uses the standard BYTE bench mark that performs the four basic opera tions 5000 times .
I used the Matrix Inversion test to measure the speed of floating-point op erations by employing matrix inversion. The program creates a square matrix with 20 rows and 20 columns , and as signs 2's to diagonal elements and l 's elsewhere. The program then inverts the matrix and measures the execution time.
The last three tests I used were the Re cursion, the Disk Read, and the Disk Write tests. With the recursion test, I used a recursive version of the popular QuickSort This is similar to the nonrecursive Sort test, except that re cursion is heavily employed. The Disk Read and Disk Write tests are standard BYTE benchmarks I.hat measure times for reading and writing a file to a newly formatted double-sided double-density 3Vi-inch floppy disk in I.he Mac' inter nal drive.
I ran I.he benchmarks on an unmodi fied Mac Plus with a 20-megabyte Data Frame ha.rd disk ; I launched them from the MPW shell. [Editor's note: The source code listing for the benchmark programs is available in a variety offor

mats. See page 3 for further details. ] Table l shows the benchmark results. I
ran the benchmarks twice: with and without optimization. The compilation and linking times for all the benchmark programs are rather slow. This is be cause the Ada compiler translates Ada source code first to MPW C and then to executable code.
In the optimized runs, I also turned off all types of checking (i.e., I used the -q and -fs switches) . Dramatic run-time improvements occurred with the Sieve, Integer Sort, Matrix Inversion, and Re cursion tests. There was no noticeable change in the run time of the other tests .
Any Advantage? The Meridian AdaVantage is the fir t commercial Ada compiler for the Mac. While the execution-code speed ranges from good to satisfactory, the compila tion and linking cycle is on the slow side. The price tag uggests that AdaVant.age is aimed at professional Mac program mers , rather than those who occasionally program in Ada . I find the general price performance ratio works slightly against the implementation examined, espe cially when you have to add the cost to purchase MPW C. The stiff competition for the AdaVantage for the Mac come from validated Ada compilers for I.he IBM PC , including a fine implementa tion by Meridian itself that sells for less than $1000. I believe that serious Ada programmers should go with the IBM PC implementations and obtain a better buy for the dollar. However, the company says it wiJ I release a new version for the Mac early in 1989 that will produce na tive code without MPW C. That could tip the scales in favor of the Mac version . ·
Namir Clement is a columnist for several compu.ter magazines and a freelance writer living in Glen Allen , Vir ginia. He can be reached on BIX as "nshammas. "

216 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988

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SEPTEMBER 1988 · BY TE 217

Mainframe Power for your PC! 

II you need or are accustomed to the throughput of a 32-bit mini, including any of DEC's VAX series, MicroWay has great news for you. The combination ol our NOP compilers and our mW1167 numeric coproc:essor gives your 386 PC, VAX speedl.JI you don't own a 386 PC, we provide a number of economical PC and AT upgrade paths.
Many of our NOP Fortran-386 users are reporting tum around times that are rwo to six ri mes laster than their VAX . The exact times area function of !heVAXprocessorbeingused,
lhe speed of the 386 , the number of users being served by the VAX, and the coprocesso r being used w ith the 386. There are currendy over 400 developers using our NOP tools to port 32-bi t applications. To help the 386/1167 engineering s1andard emerge, MicroWay is co-marl<eting
several mainframe applications that have been ported by our customers . In addition, this ad in -

Dr. Robert Atwell, a leading defense scientist, cal<Wlates rhat NDP Fortran·386 is currenrly saving him S 12,000 per monlh in ffJntals of VAX hardware and s.oftware wh ile doubling
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386/20 than they do o(I my MicroVAX II. ·

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2l8 BY TE · SEPTEMBER t988

Circle 181 on /Uader Service Can/

Software for Hardware-Style Debugging

Soft-ICE runs CodeView and 8086 based programs on 80386 systems
Namir Clement Shammas

Prograros that improperly access code or data haunt their cre ators. OS/2 promises relief, but MS-DOS programmers con tinue to suffer. There is an intermediate solution: Soft-ICE, from Nu-Mega Tech nologies, a debugger that add break-on memory-access and break-on-interrupt featu res to existing debuggers, such as DEBUG , SYMDEB, and CodeView . Soft-ICE can provide these capabilities normally associated with hardware based debuggers- only if your debugger and target program restrict themselves to the 8086 (i.e., the real address mode) in struction set, and if you run Soft-ICE, your debugger, and your target program on an 80386 machine. Given this config uration, Soft-ICE runs your 8086-based program and debugger on a virtual DOS machine that it creates on the 80386.
You can instruct Soft-ICE to watch for events that your debugger can't see, like a hardware interrupt or a write to a region within your program's code segment.

When it trap such an event, it deposits a breakpoint instruction (INT3 for DE BUG or SYMDEB, NMI for CodeView) in the code, the.reby activating your de bugger so you can use it to investigate. Soft-ICE can also go where other debug gers can't; into device-driver code that loads when DOS boots . Here Soft-ICE works as a stand-alone debugger.
Most 80386-based microcomputers work with Soft-ICE, including the IBM PS/2 Model 80, 80386 AT compatibles, and AT-style machines with 80386 co proces ors. The program i compatible with monochrome, CGA, EGA , VGA , and Hercules graphics adapters. I tested it on an IBM PC AT equipped with an 80386 card, and I used it along with DEBUG, CodeView, and T-DebugPlus 4.0, the Turbo Pascal debugger from TurboPower Software.
Nu-Mega recommends that you use Soft-ICE in conjunction with extended memory. In the absence of extended memory, the program loads as high as possible within 640K bytes, then adju sts the high-memory mark so as to hide it self from DOS programs. Because the program alters the amount of memory DOS can see, you should load it before you load any terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) program. When extended memory is present , Soft-ICE loads at the top of it, so you must arrange to name its ex tended-memory driver in CONFIG.SYS before you name any other installable de vice drivers. One minor annoyance is that you can't load programs, drivers, or
utilities (other than Soft-ICE itselO that use 80286 or 80386 protected-mode in structfons, since the program supports onJy real-address-mode software. I had to create a special boot disk to avoid load ing device drivers that use 80386 pro tected modes.
Soft-ICE loads from the DOS com mand line and takes arguments to override its defauils . For example, you can replace its default hot key , Ctrl-D,

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 219


Company Nu-Mega Technologies
P.O. Box 760 7 Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 888·2386
Format One SV··inch double-sided. double-density floppy disk; 3Vz -inch Hoppy disk avatlable on request
Hard-re Needed 80386 PS/2 and compatibles; 80386 AT compatibles; 80386SX; monochrome. CGA. EGA. VGA. or Hercules graphics adapters: extended memory re c o m me n d e d
Software Needed MS-DOS/PC-DOS 2.0 or higher
Documentation 130-page relerence manual. relerenoe card
Price $386
Inquiry 907.
with Alt-D o.r SysReq. You can also un load Soft-ICE from the DOS command line.
The program presents itself in a pop up window that you can move or resize. Screen controls include FLASH, a com mand that restores the target program's output wbile Soft-ICE traces or teps it execution , and RS (restore program screen) , which di plays your program' output until you press a key . If you have a second monitor attached to your system, you can use Al t-SCR to redirect Soft ICE's output to it.
The window contains a command line· the colon serves as a prompt. A com mand-line editor provides the usual ser vice (e.g., move cur or left and right, move to the beginning and end of a line, and delete a character), and it can recall command line _ As you type the name.s ofSoft-ICE commands, an EMACS-style completion facility displays choices that match what you 've typed. You can use the HELP command to see all the com mand , along with short descriptions .

Dueling Debuggers When you use Soft-ICE with another de bugger, fir t you hould set up the proto col that it uses to communicate with your
debugger. The ACTION comm.and speci fies where control goes when a Soft-ICE breakpoint trigger _ ACTIO ' default is HERE, which means that control passes to Soft-ICE itself; you use this configura tion when Soft-ICE operates as a stand alone. If you haven't overridden thi de fault , you issue the command ACT ION INTJ (DEBUG or SYMDEB) or ACTION NMI (CodeView) to arrange for one of
these debuggers to take control. DEBUG and CodeView both worked
well with Soft-ICE. I found Soft-ICE's window-oriented interface. more conve nient than DEBUG ' s; while debugging a screen--oriented program, I was able to view its output and separately monitor its progress in the Soft-ICE window. Since Soft-ICE provides all the DEBUG com mands (and then some), there's only one reason not to bypas DEBUG entirely
you need to use it to load your taiget pro
gram. Nu-Mega says it plans to endow a
future version of Soft-ICE with the abil ity to load a target program di.rectJy.
For CodeView users, Soft-ICE offer two major benefits: enhanced breakpoint capability and protection from DOS or ROM BIOS reentrancy. With AC IONset to NM!, I was able to specify a memory range breakpoint in Soft-ICE and gain control in CodeView when it triggered. For debugging in situations where you have access to source code, you'll prob ably prefer CodeView, wilh its ability to work with source code and symbolic in
formation, to Soft-ICE. But the combina tion of the two debuggers lets you specify more powerful breakpoints than you can with CodeView alone.
The reentrancy issue requires some explanation. Soft-ICE doesn't use DOS or ROM BIOS, but other debuggers (no tably CodeView) do. If you're using Soft-ICE to break on interrupts serv.iced by DOS or ROM BIOS code and then want to transfer control to your debug ger, there may be a conflict: DOS and ROM BIOS routines a11en't fully reen trant. Soft-ICE therefore provides a Warn facility; when enabled, it returns control to Soft-ICE first. You can then choose to let your debugger take control , but Nu Mega recommends that, in this situation ,
you should use Soft -ICE unless you know that your debugger use no DOS or ROM BIOS calls . With Warn enabled, I used CodeView to step through a program that contained BIOS calls; control did revert
to Soft-ICE when the program entered BIOS code .

Neither ACTION INTJ nor ACTION NMI will work with T-DebugPlus 4.0, be cause this debugger use a different trap ping rnechani m . You can , however , place an I TJ in Pascal source (i.e. , Intr (J , Registers) ; ), u e Soft-ICE's I J HERE command to capture control , then debug a Turbo Pascal program with Soft-ICE alone. When the I TJ instruc tion triggers a break, the Soft-ICE win dow pop up and djsplay the CPU regi  ter and the next executable mach ine in truction.
B r u k points
Soft-ICE provides a rich set of break point functions. The BPM (breakpoint on-memory) command tags a byte - , word- , or double-word-size region of memory beginning at an address you specify. One type of modifier specifies the mode of access that triggers the breakpoint : R ( read), (write) , RW (read/ write), or X (execute). Another type of modifier, applicable only to read and write breakpoints, makes the break point contingent on the value residing in the specified region: EQ (break when equal} and NE (break when not equal). A third type of modifier, C(count), renders the breakpoint dormant until the Cth ac ces of the region.
The BPR (breakpoint-on-range) com mand work like BPMbut let you specify an arbitrarily large region of memory. BPR's access-mode qualifiers are re stricted to R, II, a.nd Rll; you can stil I break on execution by u ing R, but you can't differentiate between read and exe cute modes. BPIO (breakpoint-on-UC ) work with UO ports . CSIP makes all existing breakpoints contingent on the instruction pointer, which you specify to be within or with the NOT modifier, out side a range.
Finally, BPINT (breakpoint-on-inter rupt) tags hardware or software in terrupts . To use it , you need to speci fy the interrupt' s number in hexadecimal format. The modifiers AL, AH, and AJ. enable you to further qualify the break point. For example, the command BP INT 21 AH=4C select the terminate-program function from among the many service that interrupt 21 h provide _
You can enable and di sable break points, and you can edit the descr iption of a breakpoint and use it a a template for the description of a new breakpoint . Soft-ICE supports 16 concurrent break point. . Of the e, 4 can be of type BPM, and lO can be of any other type. You can use BPAND (breakpoint-A 0 ) to con struct a complex breakpoint that triggers


Embedded systems designers have already used C!'O.'!..'iCode C in over 172 differem applications.

Introducing CrossCode C 
 for the 68000 Microprocessor Family 

Finally, a 68000 C Compiler thats tailor-made for ROMable applications

C ro~Cocle C is designed specifically to help you write ROM able code for all members of the Motorola 68000 family.
A ROMable C Compiler?
To get truly ROMable code, you have to tart with a truly ROMable compiler. Here are three CrossC-Ode C features that you won't fmd in any ordinary C compiler:
· Compiler output code is plit into five independent memory sections that you can assign into ROM or RAM as you please.
· You can optimize the code for your application because youcontrol thesizes of data types. For example, you can optimize for peed by ~ing two byte intr. or get maximum versatility by using rour byte ims.
· You can easily write assembly language routines that call functions and vice ver.;a, because the compiler use> simple, well documented parameter passing conven tions.
How About Low Level Control? CrossCode C comes with an ~mblcr that has all the features that assembly language programmers require. In fact, you could ' rite

your who le application with it
· The assembler features an advanced macro language. conditional a.~mbly, "indude" files, and an unlimited size ymbol table.
· Detailed cro· references how you where you've define,cl and referenced your symbols.
· After a link, you can actually convert you r"relocatable" assembler 1~ tings into "absolute" listings that contain absolute addrcs.5CS and fully linked object code.
Can It Handle The Link? The Cros.sCode Clinker is designed to handle trul y huge loads. There are no limits on the number ofsymbols in your load or on the size ofyouroutput file. And you can always count on fu ll 32 bit target addressability, because the linker opera! comfortably in the highest ranges of the 68020'.s address space.
How Does It Get To ROM?
CrossCode C co mes with a dow11/oader that puts you in touch with all PROM programmers and emulators. It can convert yourload into Motorola S-Records, Intel Hex, Tek Hex, Extended Tek Hex. and Data 110 A Cll Hex. You can produce a binary

image and con ert that image into anyformat yo u might wa nt. In all formats, bytes can be split into EPROMs for an 8, 16, or 32 bit data bus.
Why Wait? Once ou tart using C~ode C, you may just wonder how you ever got the job done before! It' available under MS-DOS forjust
1595 , and it runs on all IBM PCs and compatibles (640K memory and hard di k
arc req uired ). Al o a ailnble under UN IX
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Circle 253 on /Wuhr Service Card

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 221

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only when the conditions of all its com ponem breakpoints are satisfied.
The BREAK facility provides a break point of la t resort. When it's enabled (at a slight cost to performance), you can al ways activate Soft-ICE by mean of its bot key , even when the virtualized DOS ystem's interrupts are disabled and, from the DOS perspective, the system is completely hu ng.
Stand-Alone Debuggi ng Soft-ICE' toolkit is well stocked. Of course, when you use Sof!-ICE with an other debugger, you don't need these tools. Soft-ICE helps you catch events that you couldn't otherwise have caught , then transfers you to your own debugger. But for project outside the scope of stan dard debuggers, like debugging loadable device drivers or DOS or ROM BIOS code, Soft-ICE has everything you need. The standard debugger command -to display and change register , display and edit memory unassemble instructions, read from or write to 1/0 ports , trace , tep, and go-resemble their counter· pa rt in DEBUGorCodeView.
Commands unique to Soft-ICE- nota bly MAP and BOOT-support the ta ks for which you deploy Soft-ICE a a tand alone. MAP d.i play a memory map of the sy tern, noting the names, location , and sizes of device driver , RAM-resident programs, DOS, the debugged program. and any other programs already loaded into memory . BOOT uses interrupt 19h of the ROM BIOS; tbi restarts DOS but re· tai n Soft-ICE. To debug an installable device driver, you use MAP to locate the driver, then dump its header and decode it entry poi nt, set an execution break point on the entry point , and use BOOT to re tart DOS . The breakpoint trigger , and you can use Soft-ICE to debug the dri ve r .
Developers of 8086-ba ed oftware who use or have access to 80386 ma· chines should find th is product very at tractive. It implements a debugging envi ronment otherwise available only wilh hardware-based debugger that cost at lea t thre.e times a much . Soft-ICE alone is a power fuJ tool for debugging device drivers and interrupt service routine . It merge smoothly with other debuggers, such as DEBUG and CodeView, and can extend their breakpoint capabilitie a well as protect again t reentrancy . ·
Namir Clement Shammas is a columnist for several computer magazines and a freelance writer livi11g in Glen Allen , Virginia. fie can be reached on BIX as "nshammas. "


FLEXSCAN·~ 90705, PC Hi-Res That Looks Like a Million.

The FLEXSCAN 9070 Multiple Scan

monitor is of course compatible with

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improvements that will give you the

professional edge which is the mark

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You can extend your multi-scan range

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This means that, at the 48-50 kHz

range, you can make use of PC

CAD/CAE capabilities at a resolution
of up lo 1024 dots x 768 lines.

The FLEXSCAN 9070 takes advantage

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mode like 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768

(non-inte rlace).

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1024 dols x 768 lines Graphics (No.1-in1er1ac )

small enough to tit comfortably into

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Also. for your convenience. all controls and switches, including the alternate video input, are located

MODEL 90705

within easy reach on the front panel. The FLEXSCAN 9070 is compatible with a wide range of IBM, Apple, and other products, allow you to use

e lBM VGA!PS/ 2), 8514fA,PGC, EGA
compalible and CAD/ CAE ~. · Apple Mac II and Supe<Ma~ Spectrum

all of today's popular programs---at a resolution that looks like a million.

· Max. t280 dots 800 hnes high resolutioo
· 1024 dOIS x 768 Imes d·Splay on
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· 20kHz lo 50kHz horizontal scan automabc

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· 16 inch. 0 .3tmm do pt!Ch and newly developed XF (Exlended Field) Gun o

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· Front mounted controls mcluding lhe mpu1

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· Till -Swwel sand slandard



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Total Word 

where typewriter emulation is no longer good enough.
The program achieves its simplicity by, essentially, limiting and prescribing what you can do in terms of graphics lay out. But its limitations probably still ex ceed the ambitions of many users.
Indeed, Total Word is still a word pro cessor. As you type, your text appears on an alphanumeric screen with fixed spac ing . It gives you full editing features, plus a dictionary and a the.saurus. In fact, it has all the features you'd expect from a word proce.ssor.
Beyond that, things get interesting. You can capture and include graphics images in your word-processing file.s; you can type math , engineering, and chemical equations straight from the keyboard ; and you can change fonts easily.

Does it offer the total solution for word processing and desktop publishing?
Lamont Wood
If you ' re a closet typographer or graphics designe·r·, you wan.tan infi nite number of desktop publishing features. But if you' re like most peo ple, you just want your printouts to look good- without having to learn the differ ence between a point and a pica, and without having to take a sabbatical to get your font files, software , and printer configured the way you want.

Total Word 1.012 ($495) from Llfe tree Software-the company behind the Volkswriter dynasty of MS-DOS word processor -is for that .latter group . It works on the IBM PC and compatibles with 480K bytes of RAM and a CGA , EGA, VGA, or Hercu.les graphics adapt er. The program also requires a hard disk drive, where it occupies about 2. 7 mega· bytes of space (including LaserJet fonts).
Total Word offers you enough func tionality to produce handsome docu  ments with all the trademarks of desktop publishing, but it still manage to keep things simple. It includes differing type faces and sizes with or without pro portional spacing, boxes, columns ,
graphics, and special characters for engi neering and cientific formulas , and it takes a stab at WYSIWYG (what you see
is what you get). Basically, it's a word processor with limited d.esktop publish
ing features for those who are more inter ested in content than appearance but who still want presentable printouts in a world

Almost Desktop Publishing Call up Total Word and start typing, and there is little to differentiate it from the scores of other MS-DOS word proces sors- except for the intriguing label in the status line at the bottom ofthe screen: "Type: Built· 1n Font Cou r i er 10 Pitch Medium 12 pt Roman." This refers to the default font in a Hewlett-Packard LaserJet Plus (I tested it with a Quadram QuadLaser emulating a LaserJet Plus).
As you might expect from a program that carefully labels the font it's using, it also knows other fonts. Pressing Alt-Y brings up the Typestyle menu with a list of other possible fonts (for the LaserJet): standard, bold , italic, small headline , large headline , and small text. These turn out to be rather disingenuous labels for softfonts (i.e ., downloadable type faces for a laser printer) included with Total Word; they are, respectively, Times Roman 12-point medium, bold, and italic; 10-point medium; 16-point medium bold; and 24-point medium bold . (A point is }'1 2 inch .)
Switching to one of these typefaces

SEPTEMBER t 988 · B YT E 225


Tot.I Word 1.012
Type Word processor with desktop publishing features
Company Lifetree Soft'INare. Inc. 4 11 Pacific St. Mon erey, CA 93940 (408) 373·47 18 (800) 543-3873
Format Nine 5V4·inch fioppy disks or five
31/2-inch floppy disks
Language Pascal. C, and assembly
Hardware Needed
IBM PC or compatible with 480K bytes
of RAM, a hard disk dnve, and CGA,
EGA. VGA, or Hercules graphics
SOttware Needed
DOS 2.1 or higher
D0<:umentatlon 460-page Total Word Manual
48·page Printer Technical Information 16-page Total Word Quick Reference
Price $495
Inquiry 897.
produces no immediate change on the screen-except that the right margin shifts and there's a new label for the type name. However, once you start typing, it's a new experience. The format line on the bottom of the screen, which has a marker hawing the position of the cur
er, no longer seem to match the actual
cursor position. Unlike many word processor: that of
fer some ort of proportional spacing, Total Word has a preview-page mode that toggles the screen to graphics mode (if available) and hows the page as it will look when printed.
The preview screen has two modes: full page and half page. In full-page mode, you can see the image of a full page, but the text is illegible except for the headlines. The haJf-page mode has a high-enough resolution for you to make out the text immediately, although I did not find it comfortably legible.
Mixing different sizes on a 1.ine, which often spells trouble in other word proces or , didn 't bother Total Word. It still

managed to figure the spacings as it went along, and the printed margin tracked n.icely. What you see with the preview screen matches the printout exactly. Hov.-ever, vertical spacing is based on whatever typeface the line begins with , so tossing a headline typeface into the middle of a line of 12-point type can cause problems.
Total Word controls appearances with precision because it supplie the fonts and oversees the installation of any new Hewlett-Packard or Po tScript fonts you purcha e from a third party, uch a Bit stream (alt.hough, reali tically. the up plied fonts probably cover the average user's requirements). You can name the font whatever you wish when you install a new one , and it is added to Total Word's list of foots. The confusing de tails of width tables and software instal lation are handled for you.
But with simplicity also comes limita tions . Total Word supports hundreds of printers , but only because those printers emulate one of the several printer defini tions that Total Word recognize : Po t Script, Hewlett-Packard LaserJet, Epson, IBM Proprinter, NEC Pinwriter, Okidata La erline , Toshiba , and the Xerox Diablo 630. The oftware i famil  iar with the various cartridges available for each.
Scientifk Word Processing 

The oftfonts supplied with Total Word 
 include more than 300 special charnc , from the integral sign to the null set 
 to the Hebrew aleph. These special char
 acters are useful in transcribing scien
 tific and engineering formulas . 

You call up these formulas by pressing Alt-K. The program then give you a list of possible keyboards ( 1 through IO); you invoke one by pressing Alt plus the num ber of the one you want. A diagram of the key assignment of the keyboard you choose is displayed while you are in the Alt-K mode.
The fir t keyboard has the standard QWERTY layout, and the second adds bullets, blocks, and business symbols, like the trademark sign and the British pound. The eight remaining keyboards offer the following additional features in their respective order: international charact.ers (i.e. letters with umlauts and accents, and foreign punctuation); math logic and set ymbols, such as union, congruent, and uch that; square root, delta , igma and other pecial math op erators; the Greek alphabet; a collection of arrows; various lines and brack.ets for box drawings; the standard IBM ex tended graphic ; and various angled

slashes used in organic chemistry.
To actually . ee these symbols a they
are supposed to look, you need EGA , VGA, or MCGA circuitry, or a Hercu les RAMfoot card. Otherwise, you see ome other tandard character , unrelated to the one you want to u e, dull are either boldfaced, blinking, or both.
If you can put up with those blinking oddments on the screen, you don't really need the correct graphic board . Total Word comes with printed keyboard charts that let you pick your symbols even without being able to recognize them on the screen.
But keep in mind that, to Total Word , the symbols just that- symbols. It ha no sense that the formulas are as mean ingful as words. The integrals and root signs, for instance, do not grow to cover the formula , as some scientific word pro cessors can do. In other words, you're ju t doing typewriter drawings. Still, it's a lot more functional than mo t geoeral purpose word prooessors.
Total Word will do arithmetic, how ever , and it adds up rows and columns (and even blocks) of numbers. Unlike some word processors with this capacity, Total Word can even multiply and divide as well as add and subtract.
Graphic lmPQrts Many of the leading word processor lack any graphics capabilities, but depend on the user to create a print file with some graphic package. The user can then in sert a command in the word-proces ing document to have the file printed on the page at that point , perhap with ome in struction for how it will be placed be tween the margins .
Tota.I Word elaborate on thi theme. The package includes a utility called Snapshot that you have to invoke from DOS. It sits in the background until, one moment when you're u ing some graph ics program, you press Ctrl-Ah-Q. Snap shot then take over and let you crop the image on the screen and save it to a file . Control then reverts back to the graphic program.
Later, back in Total Word, you can call up the graphics menu with Ctrl-G, give it the name of the file, and answer some questions about the type of format ting you want, such as the size (1 00 per cent means it will stretch from margin to margin) , whether you want a border around ii, and how dark you want it. Total Word then inserts a print-file com mand in your document to invoke graph ics printing; you don't have to fool with the yntax at all.


Never Lose Your Work Again! 

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Create Custom Tutorials And Demos
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Table 1: Total Word did poorly in BYTE's reformat and search-a.nd-replace tests compared to Word 4.0.

Keystroke Search& Reformat Convert

Convert Print In Scroll


replace 4K file ASCII to WP" WP to ASCII columns test

Total Word 1.012





Microsoft Word 4.0











·Te><! foona ..sed· by 'nOfd prooessor ~: Results are in secooos. ID<C8PI lot~ ooun1. wtlich is 11'>8 lotll numt:aet cJ i<8ySttOkeS necessary to edol a Sl8t'odald clocument

Load Save WP flle WP file





All you see in word-processing mode is that one-line command, but you can go into page-preview mode (although you have to use the full-page option) to see that miniature rendition of the page with the graphic on it.
When printed, the graphic is a faithful representation of the screen you cap tured, except for whatever minor distor tions crept in when it was resized. How ever, it is also faithful to the original re olution of the creen from which it was captured, and that resolution can be markedly inferior to your laser printer's resolution.
Total Word al o includes several other printer commands mostly inherited from Volkswriter. These command , which you embed in the text by preceding them with two periods, are intended for mail-merge projects, printing (i.e., one document invoking anolher) sophis ticated printer control, and the genera tion of an index or table of contents.
Full-Featured Word Processing Aside from desktop publishing- like fea ture , Total Word remain a word pro cessor with strong roots in Volk writer, including you may not like.
Like Volkswriter, Total Word does not reformat as you go along. If you are in erting text in the middle of a paragraph, it adds blank lines for you to type !.he new text in, making it look like a mess until you stop and pre s a cursor-control key or !.he FS (reformat) key . Thi is a rather an tiquated approach, and the only apparent advantage is that it will be famil.iar to Volkswriter users.
The cursor-control keys can also flus ter you. While the arrow keys work as ex pected, both the Home and End keys mean the same thing (i.e .· "go all !.he way") when used with an arrow key. For instance, Home-left arrow means "go to the tart of the line." Most word pro~ sors imply use Home for thi purpose. And since after inserting some text, you first want to move elsewhere with the cursor-control keys, you, of course, press one, but this causes the text to reformat, and you end up going to the wrong place.

Surprising Performance Total Word is the first word processor I've encountered in a long time that can not keep up with my typing, especia.lly when I u ed a proportional typeface (al though it also happened in Courier mode); the moment it word-wraps to start a new line, it falls behind and starts to issue warning beeps. After the beeps, it picks up only about half of what I
typed . I used a 4.77-MHz 8088 machine, but
I discovered that the problem lessened on
a PC AT-elas machine (which wa at
least three times foster). Still , it was a clisappointment not to be able to type two Jines on a run without trouble.
In fact, Total Word presented a mix of comfortable speed and frustrating slug gishness . Fi.le loads and save were toler
able, print speed and cursor movement were average, reformatting was tedious (because the program scrolls through the text and shows what 's being refor matted), and the search-and-replace fea ture was embarra singly slow- more than 15 times slower than Micro oft Word (see table 1) and more than 45 times slower lhan WordPerfect. The key
stroke-count benchmark gave poor re ults, even among mouseless programs .
Speed aside, Total Word has impres sive functions, most of them quite easy to use. You can add footnotes, for instance, just by pressing Alt-F . It takes care of placing the reference number in the text and the footnote at the bottom of the page (or on the last page-you get to choo e). All you have to do is type Alt-F, !.hen type the footnote text, and go on. A slight annoyance is !.hat the spelling clictionary
does not access the footnote text. Redlining is also available, in which
inserted text is shown with a special de marcation, and deleted text is not deleted but given yet another demarcation. Total Word also includes a command !.hat lets you jump through the file from one change to another, and a global com mand to make all the redline in ertions and deletion official.
There's also a feature that lets you de fine an abbreviation. Once Total Word

notices that you have typed a defined ab breviation, it backspaces over it and then type: the full text. This feature would be more impressive if it were fa ter, since I had to top and wait for the replacement text to type itself, which rather defeated the whole idea.
You can print text in multiple col umns, but in text mode you see only one column on the creen. You have to go to page-preview mode to ee how the multi ple-column page will really look .
The spelling dictionary has l 70,000 words-about 50 percent more than aver age-and it can recognfae word that were accidentally repeated, or abbrevia tion that need a period. There i a.lso a word-count feature . The built-in thesau rus has 30,000 root words.
You can also store document formats in style sheets , create macros , in ert commands that will not print print in background mode (with DOS 3.0 or higher), create and fill out data-entry form , generate form letter , ort li ts, and exH to DOS to run DOS command .
All in all, Total Word would seem to demonstrate tbe state of the market rather than the state of the art in word processors. It has every feature you would expect from an old warrior in the checklist word-processing war -lhe on going competition 10 cram in every fea ture that any competitor ever found mar ketable. Now that desktop publishing has come along, some of its features must also be embraced by seriou contenders, and in Total Word, they certainly are .
How few or how many desktop pub lishing features the market will bear (i.e. , how many typographic complica tion users really want) has yet to be de termined . But Total Word i in the fore front oflhose trying to find out .
Editor's note: At press time, lifetree be gan shipping version 1. 1, which ii claims is faster than version I. 012. ·
Lamont Wood is a freelance writer in the computer and electronics fields and lives in San Antonio, Texas. He can be reached on BIX as "editors. ..

228 B Y T E · SEPTEM.BER 1988

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Data Entry Goes High-Tech

DataPlex provides data conversion and a universal front end for data entry
Lamont Wood
f the computer world ha a hierarchy, data entry is at the bottom. It offers no glamour, and it gets no attention . The rest of the computer world seems to see it as a neces ary evil. But someone has to do it. Those ill-paid someones used to be found struggling mainly with card-punch machines, but in thi increasingly personal computer oriented world they're far more likely to

be trug gling with off-the- helf software whose data-entry faciJitie were, at least in many cases, an afterthought.
Those data-entry struggles may be over: Now there 's DataPlex , from Tools & Techniques of Austin Texas. Touted as a "universal front end" for data entry, DataPlex uses a low-level fonn of artifi cia l intelligence to format incoming data. Its attempt to be universal offers a ide effect-data conver ion-that may make it noteworthy even to those who could otherwise never work up an inter est in data-entry software.
Dat.aPlex run on an IBM PC or com patible with two floppy disk drives and 512K bytes of RAM, though the com pany recommend a hard disk drive and 640K bytes of RAM. It works with DOS 2.0 or higher and sells for $195.
The Problem By "data entry," I mean more than the mechanical task of keying in formation from paper into a computer. Of

course, that keyboard entry has to hap pen, but the computer ought to be doing data checking and editing. Range check ing can keep a typist from inadvertently paying someone $3 trillion an hour, or from doing anything on February 31. Data typing can ensure that ZIP codes and Social Security numbers aren't con fu ed. The oftware ought to supp ly prompts that lead the typist through the task . And the typist ought to have the op· tion of checking and editing data that's been input during that particular session .
Generally, if an organization has any software addressing the task , it's some thing cooked up by an in-house program mer who reinvented the wheel while doing so. So there are no standards : The data-entry clerks have to relearn every system they encounter. When you con sider that one package might u e the Tab key to move between fields the next might use the Return key, and the next might use the space bar, you can see why data entry is considered a high-stre job. The big advantage to DataPlex, therefore , is not that it provides just the data-entry facilities mentioned , but that it eliminates the problem of learning a new system when the data-entry clerk moves to another system .
To be uch a universal front end, Data Plex must address all major data-file for mats. And it stands to reason that if it can do that , DataPlex can also let you move existing data from one package to an other, so that database files can be fed di rectly to a spreadsheet, and vice versa. And DataPlex does, indeed, do that.
DataPlex Explained While DataPlex helps you enter data that can be used by off-the-shelf PC software packages-chiefly dBASE II and III , Lotus 1-2-3 , Paradox, SuperCalc 4, and their many compatibles- it does not actually use those software packages. In stead, it produces files in the formats they u e. Jfdata input (as opposed to data

- Cin;le 197 on Reader Senice Card

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 231


D1taPlex 2.0A
Data entry and conversio n package
 Tools & Techniques, Inc . 
 1620 West 12th St 
 Aust in, TX 78703 
 (800) 444 -1 945
Fonnat Eight 5 V··inch floppy diskS
Hardware Needed IBM PC or compatible with two fioppy disk dri ves and 512K bytes ol RAM
Software Needed DOS 2.0 or higher (Xenix-2861386 and UNIX V-68000
versions available)
Documentation 290-page user's guide
Price $195
Inquiry 908.
manipulation) is all you're interested in, you don't even need to possess tho e packages.
The list of packages that DataP!ex is compatible witb is much longer than it seems, because many packages use or at least load file in 1-2·3 or dBASE for mats even if they are not functional clones of tho e two product . DataPlex can also use ASCII files, which most packages can at least import. DataPlex al o upports the mail-merge data Ii t format used by WordStar, WordPerfect and Microsoft Word. DataPlex's menu lists 24 formats or packages it can work with (see table l), and it seems the list could easily be lengthened by adding more clone or package that can u e an intennediate format for input purposes. (The company say it intends to add about one new format a month.)
But you don't need to worry about for matting when you start using DataPlex. All you need i the ability to type and a vague realization that data files should be arranged in record that are them selves divided into fields. The address of BYTE magazine wouJd be a record; the name, treet address, city, state, ZIP code, and phone number would be fields .
The scre~n is divided into three win· dows. The bottom one has a list of com

mand options cha! you se!ecc by moving a color bar from one to another and then pressing Return, a in Microsoft Word. The middle third of the screen has a box where help messages appear. (Contex
tual help messages are available at any time by pressing Alt-H .) The top of the screen is where your data is shown.
When you fire up the software and go into data-entry mode, the data-entry area
of the screen has, centered in it, an en closed space marked FIELD 1. If you type BYTE magazine, the word appear in the field. (For longer entries, the field ex pands to include the text. ) When you press Return, FIELD l is joined on the right by FIELD 2. You can go on entering the street address, city, state, ZIP code, and phone number. Each time you hit Re·
turn, a new field is added . At the end of the address, you press
Return twice- and the magic begins. The software pauses for about 20 sec onds (on my 4.77-MHz system), and the word Styling appears in the help box .
Then the data reappears. The name,
address, and city fields are, as before,
labeled FIELD 1- 4. But the state field
(containing NR for New Hampshire, BYTE's home) is labeled ST (state). And
the phone number field is segmemed into three subfields, labeled Area Code , Ex change, and Number.
In other words, DataPleit recognizes data for what it is. On subsequent records, you will not be able to enter any thing in the ST field except a valid state abbreviation, and the phone field will ac cept only appropriately formatted numbers.
It's not perfect. BYTE's ZIP code,
03458, comes out as J458, DataPlex. hav
ing seen it as just a five-digit number. But leaving that field highlighted, you can go into command mode (by pressing Escape) and go to the Format menu , choose the Use command from the menu, and choose ZIP Code from the list ofpos ible formats that appears. Suddenly , the
ZIP code turns back into OJ458. Accord·
ing to the c-0mpany, DataPlex' s designers
were leery ofletting the software classify every five-digit numeric field a a ZIP code, so you have to format it manually . The software readily recognizes ZIP+4 codes, however.
There are 44 different data formats it can recognize (actually more , if you count a number coupled with a unit mea
sure as a format), including Social Secu· rity numbers, Canadian and European postal codes, 26 formats for calendar dates, and 6 formats for time of day.
These aren't perfect either. The date
formats will let you specify February

31 - but not February 32 . The syslem know only that a month hould not have more than 31 day , or a year more than 12 months .
You can specify your own formats for
a field, too. umber can be as igned a
range, and an entry out ide that range won ' t be allowed; thus, the computer can't try to pay omeone $3 trillion an hour. Or you can as ign a Ii t of po ible entries. Anything not on the list will not be allowed, and a you type your entry DataPlex will try to match it wit.h the en· trie on the list, beginning with the fir t letter. Generally, two or three keystrokes will be enough to produce a correct match. You can aJso compose your own lookup tables, so that an e.ntry in one field will trigger an entry in another. For instance, an entry of 0 to 59 in a Semes ter Average field of a classroom track· ing system could trigger the entry of an F in the Semester Grade field .
You can also set prompt for a particu lar field, so the computer can ask the typ
ist to Enter ast name, for example., in
stead of displaying a defauh prompt like Enter Data for FIELD 1.
Once you're finished with a e ion, you then use the Tl'a.nsfer command to save the file. DataPlex then saves it in a proprietary format with a .DP2 file extension.
At this point, you still don ' t have a database or spreadsheet file. To produce one, you invoke DataPlex's Connect fa. cilily and choose from the list of 24 for· mars, and the sy tern produces a file of the corresponding file fonnat and exten sion. The original .DP2 file still exists, so you can render it in multiple fonnats if you want.
DataPlex ha no data-proce ing facil ities of its own but you can have it filter the data you want to output by u ing the Extract command in the Connect facil ity . Using simple logical operators tied to specified fields , you can have DataPlex output only those records that have fields meeting the requirements of the logical operators. U ing the example address file mentioned above, you could pecify the ST field, et the logical operator to =NH, and output a file containing only records with ew Hampshire addresses. In fact, I found DataPlex's Extract func tion more approachable than the imilar function in my databa e package.
A Data Converter, Too
The data input procedure described above also work with exi ting data files . When you import a data fiJe in one of the listed formats, DataPlex will attempt to
com inued

l3l .B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988

Select the points you want to remove from your regression model . ..

... Then press F6 to refit the model and recalculate the statistics.

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Most of today's PC statistical packages give you all the statistics you'll ever need. Some even give you a few graphics. But only STATGRAPHICS from STSC gives you integrated statistical graphics in an environment you control.
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STATGRAPHICS lets you explore data relationships fully, producing higher quality, more timely solutions. Define your data and assumptions, run the procedure and review the results, modify data and assumptions repeatedly and take another look-and another. All without leaving the procedure or making permanent changes to your data.

Integrated Statistical Graphics
Coupled with STATGRAPHICS' interactive environment are over 50 types of graphs-traditional pie and bar charts, histograms, 3-D line and surface plots, quality control charts, and more. All are integrated with the procedures so that they can be displayed instantly and modified repeatedly.
Query data points, do on-screen forecasting and model fitting, overlay graphs, or zoom-in on any area for a closer look. With flexibility like that, you can spot and investigate visual trends in your data-trends you may have missed if you looked only at the numbers.

Over RSO Statistical Procedures
·Direct Lotu~ and dBASE"' interfaces
· ANOVA and regression analysis · Experimental design · Quality control procedures · Multivariate techniques · Nonparametric methods ·Exploratory data analysis · Forecasting, time series
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Put the power of STATGRAPHICS to work for you today-all for only $895*. For our free convincer kit or the name of a dealer near you, call
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SEPTEMBER 1988 · B Y T E 233


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Table I: A list offileformars currently supported by DataPlex.
ASCII delimited-field format (delimiters can be specified)
ASCII fixed-field format IBM binary (EBCDIC) dBASE II dBASE IH DIF (Data Interchange Format) Lotus 1·2·3 Paradox Fox BASE FoxBASE Plus 
 Microsoft Word (mail-merge list format) 
 WordPerfect (mail-merge list format) 

WordStar (mail-merge list format) 
 Catamount (nine-track tape interlace 

board) Overland (nine- rack tape interface
board) Fram0\YOrk II (database format) Framework II (spreadsheet forma ) Multiplan 2.0 (ASCII list format) Multiplan 2.0 (spreadsheet format) Reflex SuperCalc4 VP-I nfo VP-Planner
classify the contents of each field in the first record (or the fir t row in a spread heet file) and apply it to the rest of the file. After it's loaded, you can add fur ther data, or you can edit the data and (after aving it a a .DP2 file) output it in either the same format or a different one.
A new file or a newly converted file can al o be appended to an exi ting data file, although the manual warns agaja t doing th is with certafa spread heets.
Actually, you can use the program as a data converter independent ofdata entry, and vice versa. DataPlex can be invoked with its FE (front end) comma nd, in which case you're immediately in the data-entry facility, or through the regu lar DP (DataPlex) command, which gives you access to both the data-entry and file conversion commands. So it's possible to use DataPlex a purely a data converter without being aware of its data-entry facilities.
DataPle.x also handles binary data en try downloaded through a modem . Thi ' refer to data in IBM mainframe format using the EBCDIC alphabet code instead of the ASCII code and representing num bers in packed decimal format. DataPlex can also convert data from nine-track tapes when used with a PC equipped with a Catamount or Overland tape inter face board and an optional DataPlex soft ware enhancement that co ts $595 .

Inside DataPlex, a numeric field can be assigned a unit of measure; the unit will not be listed in the field but it wHI appear in the prompt. DataPlex has 31 units of measure, covering distance, weight, and volume. After assigrting a unit 10 a field, you can then change the measure and DataPlex will recaJculate the figure. Thus, for instance, you can convert from English to metric and change all your tons to kilogram automatically.
All Things to All People? The manual is thorough, but it wa ap
parently written by and for program mers, saying thing like "connect to an out ide application" when it means ''out put your data in a particular file for mat." or were things clear even after I broke tbi code: Pertinent information tends to get lost in the forest of options. For in lance, it turns out that to output the ZIP code mentioned above correctly to a data file (as 03458 instead of3458). you al o have to format that field with the Width command in the Format menu to add leading zeros.
And while DataPlex seeks to be a "universal front end" for data-entry Lasks, that means the company is offer ing its data-entry screen as the universal data-entry screen-and a lot of people won't be happy with it. The (usually empty) help box and the command lines con ume o much of the screen that you only see the data record you're working on, plus the last three record (which are hown at the top of the screen). There's no way to adjust the size of the data-entry area, o what you see i what you get. In addition, there is no provision for using color to give extra meaning or emphasis to the input screen, although color i all the rage nowadays.
DataPlex is easy enough to use for a data-entry clerk, although the naive u er i in danger of getting lost in the format ting options when approaching anything but the most rudimentary task. But it is a powerful tool in the hands of a computer literate manager. When you have score of people struggJing through the ghastly tedium of input6ng data into the typical spreadsheet, even slight improvements in productjvity are important, and Data Plex offers major improvements for most folks. And in any office where the pro fessionals each have their own unique and beloved software package, DataPlex is an invaluable integration tool. ·
lAmont Wood is a freelance writer in the computer and electronics fields and lives in San Anto11io, Texas. He can be reached on BTX as "editors. "

 PS/2 MODEL 80 

Under DOS, this "PS/2~· i a powerful 80386-based ingle
 tasking, ingle~user computer that can run thousands of 
 DO applications. ln 16-bit, 8086 mode. 

One at a time. 

When 0 / 2·· software becomes available, the PS/ 2 can 
 become a multitasking, single-user computer runn ing in 
 16-bit, 286 mode that can al o ingle-task those DOS 
 application under OS/ 2. 

One at a time. 
 ~ ith DO or OS/ 2, the PS/ 2 will support one user. 

Cost per system.. : Co t per u er:

l IRr (DOS)
$12,389 $12 389

I user (OS/ 2)

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NEC's Newest MultiSyncs
Since the February review of multiscan color monitors, we've been able to test NEC's three new monitors: the Multi  Sync II, XL, and GS .
The $899 MultiSync II , the successor to NEC's original MuJtiSync, has a 13 inch screen with a 0 .31 -millimeter tri dot pitch. Front-panel controls include brightness, contrast, and power. You can access more switches from beneath a front-panel cover. These include vertical position and size, horizontal position and size, text mode, and text color. When the text-mode switch is on, te.xt appears in the color selected by the text -color switch- white, amber , or green.
Rear controls include a manua l switch, a mode switch, and a color-mode switch . When the manual switch is off, the MultiSync II automatically adjusts to the scanning frequency, resolution, and color requirements of the graph ic adapter you're using. With the manual witch on, you elect the mode (gray scale or color) and the number of colors (8, 16, or 64) that the graphics adapter requires. The monitor's single D-sub 9 pin adapter accepts digital or ana log in puts, and the unit comes with a tilt-swivel base .
The monitor' horizontal scan fre quency automatically ranges from 15.5 kHz to 35 kHz, and vertical scan ranges from 50 Hz to 80 Hz. The bandwidth is 30 MHz, and resolution runs 800 dots horizontal by 560 lines vertical . A 21  page manual covers adjustments, con
nections , basic troubleshooting, pin as
signments , and timing charts. The MultiSync H's warranty is limited to 1 year for labor, 2 years for part .
Our Microvision Superspot 100 tests recorded a 0 .534-mm spot size for the MultiSync II. The monitor's spot size bloomed to 0.642 mm at maximum brightness, but thi difference is within acceptable limits. Spot size indicates the true fineness of the display, while blooming reveals how resolution is af focted by brightness. A small spot size

and a small difference between low and
high level are best. In earlier tests , the Electrohome ECM 1910 and the NEC
MultiSync Plus registered the best spot sizes- around 0.45 mm. The MultiSync II numbers represent a me-Oian range.
Spot sizes u ually deteriorate at the corners. Too much difference between a
center pot size and a corner pot ize re veals poor design. Corner spot size for
the MultiSync II measured 0 .648 mm at
normal brightness and 0. 75 mm at maxi mum brightness. These numbers fall within tolerable bounds. The finest comer spot sizes of the monitors we tested fell between 0 .55 mm and 0 .60 mm.
The MultiSync II displays pure colors, but it lack triking sharpness. Our.tests noted very little misconvergence, but
they did reveal some unacceptable jitter. Swim and drift were not problems. In fact, the MultiSync JI monitor posted ex
ceptionally mall number for horizontal time variance.
In the February review , we presented general specifications for NEC' 19-inch MultiSync XL, but we hadn't received the mon.itor in time to run our Micro vision tests. The XL has a 0.31-mm tri dot pitch, and our equipment measured a
center spot size of 0 .562 mm and a
corner spot size of 0.585 mm. Both the pot size itself and the difference be tween best-<;ase (center) and worst-case
(corner) measurements were mall. However, at high intensity, blooming be gins to affect the di play. The center spot size increases to 0 .809 mm at maximum intensity; the corner spot size rises to
0.919mm. Measurements for jitter and swim
were average, but the XL's numbers for both vertjcal drift (0.041 mm) and hori zontal drift (0.0 15 mm) were exception ally low. The XL also scored very well on our mjsconvergence tests, registering Jess than 0.1 mm in red-to-green, blue to-green, and red-to-blue errors . The tests also revealed very little difference
between misconvergence at the center of the screen and at the corner.
The MultiSync XL comes with a 25 page pamphlet that covers adjustment , connections, basic troubleshooting, pin a sigrunents, and timing charts. Like the MultiSync II, the XL's warranty is l year for labor and 2 years for parts.

The $279 MultiSync GS (gray scale) monitor has a 14-lnch screen with a flat tened face to minimize glare. The moni tor comes with a tilt-swivel base. The controls are easily , though somewhat in conven iently , accessible atop the moni tor. These controls include brightness contrast, vertical size, vertical position, horizontal position, and power. A TTL/analog switch at the rear of the
monitor selects the proper video input mode. The monitor comes with an adapter to interface it to the analog video
port of IBM PS/2 systems. Resolution for the MultiSync GS
reaches a maximum of 720 dots horizon tal and 480 lines vertical. The horizontal scan frequency automatically adjusts to a maximum of J I .5 kHz; the vertical scan reaches a maximum frequency of 70 Hz . A 17-page manual covers controls , con nections, basic troubleshooting, pin as signments, a.nd timing charts.
Spot sizes for the MultiSync GS were fairly high: 0.7 19 mm at the center and 0 .765 mm at the corner. However, spot size did not vary greatly from (center) to worse-case (comer), and in tensifying the brightness did not cause excessive blooming. These numbers re veal a well-designed monitor with aver age fineness.
Our time varianc-e tests for the Multi
Sync GS registered excessive jitter: verti cal jiner measured 0.016 mm, and hori zontal jitter measured 0.0089 mm. How ever, measurements for swim fell within the median range, and drift measure ments were very low.
Visually, the GS display is much more appealing than a conventional mono chrome screen. Colors are represented by up to 64 shades of gray, providing greater clarity and versatility than the monochrome option offers. For pro grams that use extensive graphics or color menus, the GS display also en hances functionality.
All three monitors are available from NEC Home Electronics (USA), Inc., 1255 Michael Dr., Wood Dale, IL 60191, (312) 860-9500.
- Sran Diehl

SEPTEMBER 1988 · B YT E 237


Human . · · Dimensions 11117

#T2- Sottware Piracy

Those fantastic Byte covers-and boy, do they look great on this stylish, :}.14 sleeve T-shirt from Robert Tinney Graphics !
The colored sleeves and neckline vividly complement the full -color design. And don't mistake this for a rubbery patch that cracks and peels off after a few washings . This is true four color process : the permanent inks are silk-screened into the fabric, resulting in a beautiful, full -color image that lasts!
You 'll also appreciate the shirt itself: a heavyweight cotton/polyester blend which combines tough washability with the cool, soft comfort of cotton. Each Byte T-shirt is priced at only $12 .50 ($11 .50 each for 3 or more). Be sure to
include shirt size: C- (child 10-12). S
(34-36), M-( 38·40) , L-(42-44) , and XL- (46-48). Most orders shipped
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238 B Y T E · SEPTEMBER 1988




Chips of Note


Striking 16" x 20"
Limited Edition Prints from the pages of Byte. Each print is signed and num bered by the artist , Robert Tinney.

Limited Edition Classics
You 've seen them on the cover of Byte - now enjoy these deligh ful images as stunning limited edition prints! Each print pictured here is published 1n an edition strictly limited to only 1000 signed and numbered prints, and each is accompanied by its own Certilicate of Authenticity.
These gorgeous reproductions are printed on select 100% cotton fiber stock; this is a museum grade acid free paper, highly resistant to yellowing and cracking . You will be assured of a print which will retain its color and beauty for generations.



Price and Shipping
The price of Byte Limited Editions . which depends on the number or unsold prints in each edition. is shown above each print pictured here. In addition. a 15% discount is avai lable if you order two or more prin s.
Your prints will be shipped flat , usually within a week of our receipt or he order. Shipping is via UPS Blue Label.
Guarantee Ship your prints back 10 us w11h1n 30 days of your
order, and you will be given a complete. no-queslions  asked refund .





Intelligent Reflections

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L----------~-------------SEPTEMBER 1988 · BYTE 239


243 Face to Face by Gene Smarte and Nicholas M. Baran
251 Taking the Wra~ off the 34020 by Ron Peterson, Carrell R. Killebrew Jr. , Tom Albers, and Karl Guuag
275 Lighting the Way by Rollmid Von Stroh and Brian Dolinar
282 Monitor Makers

Display Technology

W hat you see isn't J.· ust what you get-it's everything. When you're interacting with a computer on a visual level, as many of us spend a great deal of time doing, what you see and bow well you see it often makes the difference between beaJth and headaches, efficien cy and eyestrain. The quality of that vi sual iateraction I say it-af fect the very quality of our lives, at least the portion that we spend looking at our display screens.
As soon as you tart talking about var ious types of displays, it becomes very clear that there are almost as many opin ions about what is best as there are people working at di play monitor . One person wants an amber monochrome display while another prefers green. One person likes a display that is garish with bright colors while another wants just a few carefully chosen soft colors. One person wants as sharp a contrast as possible be tween the characters on the screen and their background, while another finds that combination blinding. And who among us hasn't had 10 adjust the bright
ness controls and the viewing angle on
nearly every monitor we've used? This month, BYTE looks a.t display
technology and the various types of mon itors popular today. In "Face to Face," Gene Smarte and Nicholas M . Baran look inside the CRT, gas-plasma, liquid crystal di play (LCD), and electrolunti nescent (EL) display and describe what they find there. Gene and Nicholas ex plain the hows and whys of these technol ogies, how each one creates the light we ee, and what the various problems with each are.
"Behind every successful monitor is a hard-working graphics chip.·· Well , maybe not every one, but certainly the various graphics chips are heavily in

volved in " what you see." This month we are excited to pre ent "Taking the Wraps off the 34020" by Ron Peterson , Carrell R. Killebrew Jr.. Tom Albers, and Karl Guttag. The 34020 is the new 32-bit graphics microprocessor from Texas Instruments, and these gentlemen have been intimately involved with its de ign and implementation. It' a fa cinat ing article about a chip sure to have an effect on the marketplace, and we are de 1ighted to be able to give you the inside scoop so soon after its release.
Next, we take a look at a screen type undergoing significant changes- the EL display. In "Lighti ng the Way ," Rolland Von Stroh and Brian Dolinar expose the ecret of elect.rolumine cence, how and
why it ' so brighl, and Planar Systems' recent foray into the world of EL color.
There may never be one monitor or one type of display that pleases all of us all the time, but as the technology im proves, choosing the best is becoming more and more difficult. There are liter ally hundre<ls to choose from. In fact , there are simply too many to list, so this month rather than listing monitors you
might pick, we have included a List of the
companies that make microcomputer monitors in "Monitor Makers."
As headaches and sore eyes- at least those caused by poor display quality become a thing of the past, and display technologies approach each other in quality, price will have to come down . As a result, the choice between monitors will become just that- a choice, a matter of personal preference. Then , it will be interesting to see which technology
comes out on top. - Jane Morrill Tazelaar
Senior Technical Editor, In Depth




Face to Face

Where are we now, 

and where are we going? 

Gene Smarte and M. Baran

F our major display cechnologie com
pele for the right to go "face to face" with all of us. They appear not only in computer , but also in televisions, household appliance , medical equip ment, military equipment, and in other devices tha.t need to display text or graphics.
These technologies are the CRT, liquid crystal display
(LCD), ga -plasma di play, and electroluminescent (EL) display. Other technologies,
uch as vacuum fluorescent
displays (VFDs), electropho retic displays, and light-emit ting diode (LED) di plays, are comparatively minor, and we won't cover them here.
Due to the great number of display products manufac tured and their complexities, it's impossible to provide technical details of all the competing products. However, we have tried to show the technology behind each approach in a representative manner.
In the midst of continual improve ments in computer-processing power, IJO peeds. and storage capacity. ad vances in display technology are often overlooked. But with the increasing im
portance of the graphical user interface in all aspects of computing, advances in

di play technology will play a key role in defining the computer of the 1990s.
Over the years, many industry watch
ers have predicted that one or another display technology would dominate and eventually wipe out its competitors.
However. there seems to be no basis for
this prediction. As industry analyst David Me.ntley of Stanford Resources in San Jose, California, poin.IS out, "Eacb

technology finds its own niche. The concept that one technology is going to domi nate the market is not valid . "
Two major forces are driv ing the display market. One i the celevi ion industry . Ac cording to Mentley, "The Jap anese display effort is driven by televisions, not by com puters." The Japanese domi nate the television induslry and are devoting major efforts to improving displays for both portable, pocket televisions and large-sc~n. high-defini  tion TVs. Of course, the tech nological advancements in television then have a corre sponding effect in the com puter industry. "It's a short drop back to produce moni tors instead of TVs," says Mentley.
The second driving force i.s the demand for color. As
graphical user interfaces are
becoming increasingly popular, color is al mo ta necessity in a graphics environ ment. At this time, CRTs still have the edge in di playing color.
CRTs Even though it's about 85 years old, the CRT still has many miles left in it, ac cording to companies who use the tubes




in their monitors. They may be investi
gating other display technologies, but
they are not abandoning their bread and butter. The CRT's reliability and price to-performance ratio are tough to beat,
and millions and millions of these tubes are in use around the world .
Currently, the CRT is the only rela tively inexpensive system that can pro duce large full-color images. As Dick Sager , produc;t manager for high-resolu tion monitors at Mil ubishi, said, "For the past 20 I've heard that the CRT would be dead in about 5 years."
The "Multiscan Color Monitors" re view in the February BYTE takes a close look at bow 14 modem color monitors performed and provides detailed techni cal information on monitor specifica tions.

A CRT Primer
Let's ta.Ice a quick look at how a CRT works before we look at today ' s technol ogy. Conventional CRT displays produce an image by directing an electron beam
on a pbo phorescent coating on the glass face of the tube. When struck by the elec
tron beam, the phosphor glows, produc
ing the light that reaches our eyes. When the electron beam stops hitting a phos phor, the Light quickly fades . Different phosphor compositions control how long the glow lasts, their persistence, and, in color CRTs, what colors are produced .
Figure la shows a simplified cross section ofa CRT. The negatively charged electron beam tarts in an electron gun at
the back of the tube and is accelerated to ward its face by a large positive voltage . Along the way, the beam is focused into

a round shape and swept across the tube face horizonta1ly and vertically.
These days, most video-monitor CRTs use electromagnetic focus ing and deflec tion coil , the wiodi ngs of which are often referred to as a yoke. Turning the electron beam on and off at appropriate times via the control grid produces a
glowing pattern on the tube's face . For monochrome displays , the phosphors can be just about any color: white, green , amber, and so forth. But that's just what you get-one color.
The long " neck" of the CRT signifi~ cantly contributes to cabinet depth. Ef forts to shorten the neck create deflec tion and focu ing problems, because then
the electron beam must be moved through large angles; it strikes the rube face more
obli quely as it moves away from center.

Elect.ran gun

Focus conlrol

Horizontal and vert ical deflection

High voltage
Phosphor coating-

RGB electron


and vertical




High voltage
Shadow mask

Control grid

con1ror grids


Glass / envelope

Glass envelope_,...,,

Figure la: Typical monochrome CRT operaJion. NegaJively charged electrons are produced in an electron gwi and are attracted to the high posi.tive voltage al thefronJ ofthe tube. The resultant electron beam is focused on and deflected across the CRTface.

Figure lb: A typical color CRT uses three electron guns for red, blue, and green. and corresponding colored phosphor dots on the CRTface. A thin metal screen, a shadow mask. is performed with tiny hoks that must a.lign with rhe phosphor dots (see figures Jc and Jd).

Round shadow mask

Slotted shadow mask

Black stripes between phosphors

' Red, green, and 
 blue electron beams 

Figure le: Close-up ofa round-holed shadow-mask and phosphor-triad arrangemenl.
244 B Y TE · SEPTEMBER 1988

Striped phosphor
Figure ld: Close-up ofa rectangular-holed, striped phosphor shadow-mask arrangement.


Full-color displays add complexity to the basic CRT de ign. Figure lb shows that a typical color CRT has three elec tron guns, one each for red, green, and blue (Sony uses a single gun); a tube face covered with tiny triads of red, green, and blue phosphors; and a shadow mask.
You will often hear the dot-pitch specification menlioned when compar ing CRT monitor . Dot pitch or tri-dot pitch is the distance in millimeters be tween the phosphor triads and is some measure of the resolution capabilities of the CRT itself. Many EGA monitors have
dot-pitch measurements in the 0.28- to
0.31-mm range, and the trend is toward finer dot pitches.
The shadow mask i made of metal and ha tiny hole in it that must be precisely aligned with the phosphor triads to pre vent the beams from striking and illumi nating other phosphor triads. The holes are often round with corresponding round phosphors on the face of the tube (see figure le) .
Some CRT designs use a shadow mask with rectangular slots to illuminate alter nating stripes of red, green, and blue phosphors (see figure 1d). As in a mono chrome di play, the beams are swept aero s the tube face, striking their appro priate phosphors through the shadow
mask. By controlling which electron beams strike which of their correspond ing phosphors, full color can be realized.
Recently, a big change in monitors has been the introduction of multifrequency scanning capability. Pioneered by NEC and its MultiSync family of monitors, multifrequency scanning capabilities have rapidly become commonplace. Early on, computer monitor manufacturers used the same horizontal and vertical scanning rates as television- that is, 15 ,750 Hz for horizontal and 60 Hz for vertical. To improve brightness (by hit· ting the phosphors more often in the same amount of time), permit faster screen updates, and reduce flicker, many monitors and controllers can now operate under a wide range of frequencies.
This flexjble scannjng approach also le ts your monitor adapt to different graphics display standards. Generally, as the scanning frequencies increase, the image quality increa es. But a ystem de signed to operate at only one frequency can usually be optimiz.ed to produce a better-quality image than one that must be capable of accepting a broad range of · operating conditions.
Bigger and Better
There's an ongoing demand for higher
resolutions and larger displays in both

monochrome and color. In CAD, image processing, graphics specialties, and other , the demand is for photographic
resolutions. The trend seems to be to ward color, even though certain applica
tions, such as word processing, can seem cluttered with extraneous color boxes and menus. Also, monochrome monitors clearly have the edge in resolution. A CGA display i harder on the eyes than a decent monochrome monitor.
The desire for higher resolution run into two old problems: lack of brightlless and unwanted heat. With monochrome monitors, heat is a persistent, but not in surmountable, problem . There 's no shad ow mask to absorb and waste energy.
MegaScan Technology in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, holds a patent on a yoke· heat dissipation technique and uses it in a 19-inch white monochrome monitor. It
provides up to 4096- by 3300-pixel reso
lution using an electron-beam spot size of 0 .005 inch . This precision translates to 300 dots per inch. Photo 1 shows the ultrahigh-resolution MegaScan screen; the actual screen looks better than the original photo, whose appe.irance has been slightly degraded through the off set-printing process.
This extremely high resolution is ex  cellent for use in medical imaging and in desktop publishing for font inspection.

Accordfog to Gary Zeller, a sales-sup port engineer for MegaScan, 3-point type displayed on the 19-inch monitor is readable, "though not for very long." This resolution comes with a price: about $16,000foran "intermediate-level" sy  tern consisting of moaitor, controller, and interface in single-lot quantities.
Also, tube shape ls now affecting display quality. Because of the way the electron beam is deflected across the face of the tube, it makes sense to have the face curved hemispherically. The electron beam then acts like the radiu of a circle whose circumference is the tube face. Once focused, the round-shaped beam strikes the tube face perpendicu larly regardless of position as Jong as the beam radius matches the spherical di mension . Because of manufacturing re quirements and the methods employed to defle.ct the beam, maintaining a round spot on the tube face is difficult anyway . And it becomes even more difficult a tube faces become flatter and flatter another trend.
As the focused round beam moves away from the center position in a " flat" tube, the radius length increases, chang· ing the focus, and it also begins to strike the tube face at an angle , forming an el lipse. This ill-shaped beam degrades the

Photo 1: A display on an e;ctremely high-resolution monochrome monitor screen .
The actual qua.lity ofthe screen display has been degraded by the printing process.
Whal you see is only abow one-third the quality of what you get. (Photo courtesy
ofMegaScan Technology, Inc.)



image. Different manufacturers address this problem through various means, but they generally employ some kind of
beam-shaping circuitry to adjust the shape of the beam on-the-fly, according to where on the tube face it's located.
To get higher resolution in color tubes, hadow-mask holes and phosphor triads need to be smaller. Reducing phosphor size means that there is less material to glow, reducing brightness. Also, with mailer shadow-mask holes, fewer elec trons strike the phosphors if the electron
beam intensity is held constant. Generally , to get more ele{:trons to
trike the phosphor , you can increase the number of times the phosphors are il· luminated in a given period or increase the electron-beam intensity. Unfortu nately, either way, the energy that strikes
the shadow mask then also increases, manifesting itself in the form of heat. This heat can warp or dome the mask and distort the alignment between hole and triad, degrading the image. One CRT
manufacturer said that less than one third of the electron-beam energy actu ally reaches the phosphors. This means
that more than two-thirds never makes it beyond the mask and turns into unwanted heat.
A couple of different approaches are being taken to stabilize the shadow mask. One is to replace the common iron mask with a more thermally stable material uch as Invar, an iron-nickel alloy. An other method, used by Zenith, i to put the shadow mask under tension to pre vent it from moving when it heats up.
According to a Zenith spokesper: on, the flat-tension mask (FrM) is tightly stretched steel that is much thinner than

standard masks. As a result, fewer elec trons are absorbed by the mask, while the tension in the mask prevents disrortion and misalignment as it beats up . The up shot is a much brighter with more contrast-50 percent brighter and 70 per cent better contrast, according to Ze nith-and improved color purity.
Unlike other CRTs with a uniform dot pitch, the Zenith tube has an "average"
0.28-mm dot pitch. In the center of the
tube , the dot pitch is 0.27; at the edges, it's 0.30. Zenith owns several patents on the technology behind the FrM . The company also says that while it has expe rienced the normal problems associated with a project start-up, it is going for ward with the program. Other CRT manufacturers claim that the FrM is via ble from a technological standpoint, but it is also expensive.
In spite of the problems that have been encountered, several CRT-based monitor manufacturers continue to increase reso lution and performance. Mitsubishi re
cently showed a prototype of a 19-inch
color monitor with a 2000- by 2000-pixel resolution. It uses 0 .21-mm dot pitch and a horizontal scanning-frequency limit of 128 kHz . Toshiba has worked on the shape of its CRT, added an Invar mask, and improved the electron gun, focusing elements, and deflection system to pro vide a unit that is 50 percent brighter than before. The battle to improve the
CRT is in full swing.
A Moving TB.fiel The CRT has turned out to be a very ro
bust and continuously evolving technol ogy. As David Mentley says, "The CRT is a moving target: 1280 by 960 shadow

ma ks are now quite common. Who would have predicted that 5 years ago?"
In addition, the development of multi scan giv~ CRTs a big wge over the com petition. With a multiscan CRT, you can change from one resolution to another (by changing the graphics controller or mode) without having to replace the monitor.
The competing technologies are all
fixed -format displays that are built for a
specific resolution. Once you buy one, you're stuck with it. If you have a gas plasma or LCD display and want to switch to a higher-resolution controller, you'll have to buy a new display, too.
You can use the e fixed-format displays
at lower resolutions, however. For exam ple, a 640- by 400-pixel display also up ports 640- by 200- or 320- by 200-pixel resolutions (the maximum specified res olution must be evenly divisible by the supported lower resolutions) .
LCDs Once a "hold it just right and you can
read it sort or' laptop computer display, the LCD now compete favorably with parts of monochrome CRT technology and may eventually supplant the color CRT. The old problems of low contrast and poor readability in low ambient light arc mo tly behind us.
LCDs offer many advantages: small size, light weight, low power consump tion, and good resolution, typicaJly 640 by 480 pixel . But making large LCDs to compete head-to-head with CRTs is dif ficult. Manufacturing large LCD panel in which every pixel must be operable strains the fabrication capabilitie of many companies. Prototypes are ooe

Front polarizer

- DC voltage

DC voltage

- Rear polarizer

Figure la: Wh£n a11 LCD pixel is off. the polarized light reflects uniformly on the Liquid-crystal m/Jlerial; thus, no contrast is created.

Figure 2.b: When an LCV piul is activated, it lets polarized ligh1 through it ro strike a rear and be absorbe.d. Th£ absorbed lighJ appears dark.


thing; production runs are quite another.
Color LCDs currently are available only in relatively smaJI sizes. Many are
4-inch diagonal (3 Yz-incb viewable) dis plays with 480- by 220-pixel resolution and are used in portable TV receivers. Larger LCD color display are the center of attention in the research and develop
ment departments of many companies. An inherent advantage of LCD and
other flat-panel technologies is their lin earity. The screens are flat, unlike the CRT, and because the illuminating ele ments are addressed directly, there is no electron beam to deflect and distort.
Figure 2a is a simplified drawing of a typical twisted nematic-crystal mono chrome display, probably the most com mon in use today. Nematic cry ta! are stable between liquid and olid and are responsive to electric fie ld s, among other things.
The example LCD panel consists of a matrix of twisted crystal pixds that can be addressed via a row-and-column
scheme. The crystals are sandwiched be
tween two polarizers. In their normal twisted "off' state, the crystals modify the polarization of the light striking the panel so that most of it is reflected back; the panel color appears as the familiar uniform gray.
When voltage is applied (see figure 2b), crystal molecules untwist, changing the polarization of the incident light. When the light is able to pass through the crystals, it strikes the back polarizer and is absorbed; thus, the addressed pixel looks dark compared to the rest of tbe panel. Unfortunately, incident light scat tered in the panel's layers and reflected back through them diminishes contrast.
The early problems with low contrast and poor readability have been nearly eliminated by using a rear-lighting, or

backJit, approach that does away with a dependence on ambient light.
Because of backlighting, reflective LCD displays are on their way out. In fact, so-ca lled supertwist LCDs require backlighting to take advantage of their increased contrast, and it's often more appealing to have a light--emitting dis play. Also, color LCDs require back lighting. Still, it's a trade-off between readability and power consumption. A passive LCD panel uses a tiny amount of power, while the light source used for backlighting usually consumes ma ny times the power required to control the liquid crystals.
In addition to the portable or laptop computer displays, an interesting and growing application for LCD panels is coupling a computer and an overhead projector. Whatever you have on your computer screen can be displayed on a portable window-like panel that sits on top of the projector in place of trans parencies.
An Active Future The most promising type of LCD is the recently developed active-marrix or thin film transistor (TFT) LCD. Rather than using standard multiplexing technique (e .g., time-sharing of pixel electronics drivers) to address the matrix of crystals, the active-matrix LCD includes a thin film transistor fabricated along with each pixel. These transistors act as switches to turn on individual pixels.
The TFT method eliminates the time dependency associated with multiplex ing (diminishing contrast as more lines are displayed) and allows direct address ing of each pixel. Color is added by using organic filters and backlighting.
Currently , active-matrix LCDs have primarily been produced for full-color

3 1h -inch pocket TVs. The Japanese pro duced some 2 million active-matrix LCD pocket TVs last year. At the Society for Information Display (SID) convention in May in Anaheim, California, several manufacturers displaye<I 9-inch active matrix LCD screens.
The major obstacle to producing 9 inch and larger screens is the low throughput and poor manufacturing yield of current photoma king equip ment. Defective panels have to be thrown away, and typical manufacturing yields are 20 percent. However, David Mentley says, "It's going to happen." According to bis research, there are some 30 Japa nese companies heavily investing in ad vanced-matrix LCD technology. Within afewyears, weshouldsee9-and LI-inch advanced-matrix LCD monitors.
Gas-Plasma Displays Gas-plasma displays operate by exciting a gas, u ually neon or an argon-neon mfature, through the application of a voltage. Figure 3 shows the general con struction ideas embodied in gas-plasma displays . The two types of displays are AC and DC . In both cases, a matrix of electrodes, separated by the ga , allows a certain point or pixel to be addressed.
By applying sufficient voltage at an
addressed matrix intersection, the gas is excited, emitting an orange-red light. The DC type is simpler to construct but usually has an inherent background glow due to the continuously present DC volt age necessary for refresh. The AC ver sion is more complicated to build but has no background glow or image-refresh re quirements.
Because gas-plasma displays produce light, they need no backlighting . Still, they use more power than a backlit LCD .

/ Column electrodes



Transparent covers

Figure 3: Gas-plasma displays use tiny pixels ofgas 10 produce visible light. When sufficient voltage is applied at the intersection oftwo electrodes, the gas glows an orange-red.



Because of the need for operating volt ages higher than normal, few battery-op erated computers with this type of display have appeared. Manufacturers have to include converter circuitry to change the low voltage of the baneries to high voltage for the screen (about 200 volts for DC) , and that adds power con sumption, weight, and complexity.

Originally, gas-plasma technology provided only on--0ff control. Recent ad vances have improved control over the brightness of the pixels and provided several steps between the dimmest and brightest conditions, ort of an orange
red "gray" scale. Photo 2 shows a gas plasma panel that offers both 4- and 16 step "gray" scales.

Gas-plasma displays have faced many problems. Their lack of full-color capa
bilities, their relatively short life span , and their cost have all contributed to their slow emergence . IBM's 17-inch
gas-plasma display pane.I listed for about $3300 in 1985, which is hardly competi
tive with CRTs. Another company re
cently bought the AC plasma technology from IBM and made ome innovations in reducing driver count and power con sumption, hoping to reduce the cost significantly.
At the May SID show, NHK Laborato ries discussed its full-color 20-inch DC plasma panel intended for use in high definition television . (This is another ex
ample of how television can drive the display-technology industry .) Al o , Fu jitsu has announced 8- and 15-inch color
displays with 76,000- and 256,000-pixel resolutions , respectively . Mo t impor tant , the company claim that the life ex pectancies of the new displays now match
those of CRTs. As with LCDs, a great deal of effort will be expended before large full-color glls-plasma panels are
ready for mas marketing.

Photo 2: Gas-pUisma displays can now display up ro 16 levels ofso-called "gray. " (Photo courtesy ofPanasonic Industrial Co.)

Transparent dielectric
Glass subtrale

AC voltage

... _ LI 'I


P.ow electrodes Aef lective dielectric

Electro Ium inescent material
Figure 4: EL displays address pixels ofELmmerial wirh electrodes. 

An AC volrage causes the material to produce its characteristic yellow light. 

EL Displays 

EL displays operate on the principle of 
 electroluminescence-phosphor emit
 ting light in the presence of an alternat
 ing electrical field . EL displays are be
 coming increasingly popular in military 
 and industrial applications requiring 
 portability and reliability in hostile envi
 ronments. Their truly solid-state con
 struction makes them rugged. 

A typical EL display consists of a thin film of EL material (phosphor) sand
wiched between thin films of insulating
dielectric material ( ee figure 4) . The
front material i transparent, while the rear material is reflective . The zinc-sul fide-with-manganese phosphor emits a bright yellow light when subjected to ap proximately 200 V AC. The voltage i applied via a grid of electrodes (also very thin) , each pixel of which can be individ ually witched on . Other phosphors can be used for different colors .
EL displays range in ize from 2 by 2 inches to 12 by 14 inches, with resolu tions ranging from 320 by 128 pixel to 640 by 400 pixels. As with gas-plasma displays, a "gray" scale can be achieved by using a controller chip that provides that function. Planar Systems of Beaver ton, Oregon, plans to introduce a 640- by 480-pillel di play early next year. (See " Lighting the Way " on page 275 for ad ditional information on EL displays.)
EL displays offer better contrast and

248 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 19&8

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broader viewing angles than gas-plasma
and LCD displays. They use more power
than LCDs but less than gas-plasma and
considerably less than CRTs. As with gas-plasma, operating an EL display from batteries has its drawbacks .
In addition to being more compact and lightweight Lhan CRTs, EL displays are
much more reliable. Manufacturers claim an average mean time to failure of about 40,000 hours, in contrast to an average of 10,000 hours for typical CRTs.
While EL displays are rugged and fea  ture excellent contrast, they are still quite expensive. A typical 640- by 400-pixel
12-inch EL display costs about $400 to
manufacture today, while an equivalent
CRT co ts under $100. However, indus try analy ts expect the price of EL dis plays to drop to about half their present cot by 1990.
However, the EL display market is faced with the "chicken and egg" prob lem. The prices won't come down until the displays are manufactured and sold in larger volumes, and that's dependent on the prices coming down . According to pokespersons from Planar Systems,
many workstation vendors are expressing
greater interest in EL displays. EL displays are still offered primarily
in monochrome configurations. Full color EL display have been hampered by difficulties in producing a good blue
phosphor. Planar System plans to offer

a red and green EL display for military applications in late 1989 and hopes to bring full-color di play to market by late 1990.
In spite of their appeal , EL di plays are till at Lhe high end of the market and are likely to remain o. The color prob lem is another obstacle to widespread acceptance. Since most commercial computers are priced extremely competi tively, it's likely that many manufac turers will continue to opt for the lower priced gas-plasma displays, while EL will remain the favorite in military appli cations and perhaps in high-priced workstations.
Chips Ahead
The consensus among display manufac turers is that, although some interdepen dency eldsts, the chips and controllers to drive the displays seem able to stay up with or keep slightly ahead of the actual light-producing displays.
This is evidenced by an announcement
from Yamaha's Systems Technology Di vision concerning its new Enhanced Panel Display Controller chip. This 128 pin package will support IBM mono chrome, CGA , EGA, NEC MultiSync, LCD, EL, and gas-plasma (with "gray"
scale) in 640- by 200-, by 400-, and by
480-pixel, and 320- by 200-pixel modes. For 640 by 480 pixels, the package sup ports 16 colors. For the LCD's 320 by 200 pixels, it supports 8 colors. (For a



x,y scanners

111111111111111111111111110 - - 0 x,yinput

Synchronizat ion electron ics


- ,.--::::m::~-...-..-: Rotating translucent disk
Display volume

Figure 5: Will this be the wave ofthe future? A prototype display system uses a laser and rotating translucent disk to produce the elusive third dimension. (Diagram modified. Original courtesy ofTexas Instruments, Inc.)

look at Texas Instruments' new graphics chip, see "Taking the Wraps off the 34020" on page 257 .)
Back to the Future
Despit.e advances in display technologies over the years, information traditionally ha.s been presented in a two-dimensional flat format. For most text-based applica tions, two dimensions appear to be enough. Humans are used to seeing in three dimen ions , but often little is gained by adding depth to words and numbers alone. For just about everything else, however, three-dimensional di  plays make sense.
Experiments with three-dimensional displays go back to the stereoscopic view ers that used still photographs to add depth , proceeded through movies, and into television. Holography was once in vogue. In CAD and other real -world ap plications where a picture is worth a
thousand words, a genuine need for three
dimensions exists. As with most display systems, cost and image quality figure heaviJy into the future of uch di plays.
There have been many different ap proaches to three-dimensional displays, some involving mechanical motion and others strictly electronic . One solid-state approach from Tektronix in Beaverton , Oregon, uses special liquid-crystal shut ter (LCS) eyeglasses synchronized with a CRT display.
Binocular vision-seeing two images from slightly different locations- con tributes to our depth percepLion. Early attempts to exploit this used red and blue
Jen es and corre pondjng red and blue
image . Other versions have employed polarized light, prisms, and lenticular sere.ens .
With the LCS system, each side of the glasses worn by the viewer i alternately transparent and opaque while the corre sponding image shifts slightly on the CRT screen. The viewer's retinas retain each image long enough to minimize the switching flicker and fool the brain. Having one eye see an image in a slightly different position than the other provides the thwe-dimensional illusion on a flat creen.
An intriguing approach to truly three dimensional d.isplays was demonstrated by Tex.a In ttuments (Tl) at the May SID show. A common drawback to LCS or polarized viewing of two-dimen ionaJ images to simulate three dimensions has been the limited viewing angle . As you move away from an ideal viewing posi tion, usually directly in the center of the di play, Lhe depth illu ion fades . Often


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three-dimensional schemes also require some sort of special glasses or goggles.
Using an electromechanical approach as shown in figure 5, Don Williams of the User Sy tern Engineering Group at TI displayed a system that uses low-power laser light to project images onto a slanted IO-inch rotating translucent disk. The result is a "real-time, auto-stereo scopic, multiplanar three-dimen ional display system" (patent pending) .
In the $I 0,000 proof-of-concept proto type, the disk rotates at between 400 to 600 revolutions per minute to synchro nize with the laser light source. The rota tion provides a translucent display vol ume into which a laser projects points of light. By scanning the laser in two di mensions on the rotating disk, a viewer's eyes fuse the points of light into a "solid" object. The resulting image can be viewed from any angle and has a reso lution of 500 by 500 pixels and a 4-inch depth of field. Williams said that with larger disks and higher resolution , big ger and better images can be generated, and by mixing red, green, and blue laser light, full color would also be possible.
A potential use of this system pro moted by TI would be in air-traffic con trol. An entire airspace around an air port might be displayed, with air-traffic controllers able to walk around the
scene, viewing it from different angles and heights, and identifying aircraft using small hand-held lasers (see photo 3). Williams is a human-factors engi neer, and, for him , the driving force be

hind three-dimen ional displays is to come up with something that works well with humans.
Going Up? Considering the advantages of thin, lightweight displays and our affection for solid-state construction, it looks like flat panels could eventually replace CRTs, but don't count our old friend out yet. It's pretty commonplace to produce large, full -color di play panel when cost is of little consideration. Reducing cost so that ma s production is possible will take some time. And who know what kinds of technological breakthroughs might launch another di play scheme along the way and perhaps displace all the current contenders?
The synergy of physics, chemi try , a.nd fabrication technologies seems to be taking display development along an ex ponential increase. The future is bright, in full color, and maybe even in three dimen ions. ·
ACKNOWLEDGMENT Special thanks to David Mentle y ofStan  ford Resources, Inc., a consultant on display technology based in San Jose , California.
Gene Smarte is West Coast bureau chief
for BYTE in Costa Mesa, California. You can contact him on BIX as "gsmarte. " Nicholas M. Baran is a BYTE technical
editor in San Francisco. You can reach
him on BIX as "nickbaran. "

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One Language For\


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ea· Pl'IOGRESSION12-. BB' and BASIS lnCO!pOlaled & U3demall<s andlor seMc:e rnall<S ol
BASIS lncX>tpou11ed, Albuquetque. New M6xico. Al releret\0&$ IO oompull!f syslllmS and soltwate p<Uducts conaained wttNn this lllMl<1isement ~e Ille bade lllldlor seMce rnai1cs ol lllD CXlt'l1!SpO<"ld ~e< and holder o1 ttie lnld& lllldlor ~ m&11c.


MICROMINT'S Gold Standard in Single Board
Computers and Industrial Controllers


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. ..C'h.unei re.l:1y O'IUPUI board ll ICICI Qoontlrr "let tlt4.llD

tllt .1111

1408 Richmond Dr Placenr:Li, Ci. 92670 Tel:(714) 996-3917
41040 Comae Terrace Fremont, Ca. 94538 Tel:(41S) 657-0264
IS Mar1<et Place Orencester, Glos. GL7 2PB Eng1and TI!I: 0295-68122 Fax: 0285-68859

To order caJJ


TEL: (203) 671--6170

TELEX: 643331 

FAX : (203) 872-2204 ~





VERNON, CT. 06066

256 B YT E · SEPTEMBER 1988


Taking the Wraps off 
 the 34020 

A trio of chips that puts workstation power on a small board
Ron Peterson, Carrell R. Killebrew Jr. , Tom Albers, and Karl Guttag

T he new TMS34020 3~-bit graphics microprocessor (the '20) is well suited to workstations and personal computers requiring highly interactive user inter faces. The '20 is also suited to laser printers which are be comi ng more performancehungry , with requirements for on-the-fly font compila tion , and the increased com plexity of page-description languages, which are con stantly demanding more performance.
Data and image compres sion uch a facsimile and CD-ROM are other areas where the '20 will find ready applications, since fast bit addressable processors pro vide inherent advantages over general-purpose proces ors for performing the Huffman type encoding and decoding necessary for CCITI Groups 3 and 4 fa;ii; standards. In fact, for TMS340 Graphics System Processors (GSPs) fax-type compression and decompression is just another program (i .e., no additional hardware is required) .
A Cbipofftbe Old Block
The '20 is the newest member