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FEBRUARY 1983 Vol. 8, NO. 2 ; 

$2.95 in USA 

$3.50 in Cahada/£2.10 in U.K. 

A McGraw-Hill Publication 



the small 



j ournal 



Exclusive! Apple Lisa and He Reviewed 







STANDARDS 




1/ 





How to buy a computer 
by the numbers. 



Introducing the Cromemco 
C-10 Personal Computer. 
Only $1785, including soft- 
ware, and you get more pro- 
fessional features and per- 
formance for the price than 
with any other personal com- 
puter on the market. We've 
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The C-10 starts with a 
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80 characters on each line. 
Inside is a high-speed Z-80A 
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bytes of on-board memory. 
Then there's a detached, 
easy-to-use keyboard and a 
S l A" disk drive with an excep- 
tionally large 390K capacity. 




That's the C-10, and you won't 
find another ready-to-use 
personal computer that of- 
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But hardware can't work 
alone. That's why every C-10 
includes software— word 
processing, financial spread 
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and BASIC. Hard-working, 
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Software that could cost over 
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But the C-10's numbers 
tell only part of the story. 
What they don't say is that 
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CP/M R is a registered trademark of Digital Research, Inc. 
All Cromemco products are serviced by TRW. 




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The range of capabilities and versatility 
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There's much more yet you can do 
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Finally, Cromemco offers you the 
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Cromemco 

incorporated 



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others. There is also a wide choice from 
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To top it all off, you can draw from a 
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Tomorrow's computers today 

Circle 127 on inquiry card. 



In The Queue 



BITE 



Volume 8, Number 2 



February 1983 



Features 

3 3 The Lisa Computer System by Gregg 

Williams / State-of-the-art hardware and software are 
combined in this new machine that literally anyone can 
use. 

54 Build a Handheld LCD Terminal by Steve 

Ciarcia / A single-line display is quite adequate for many 
troubleshooting and monitoring applications. 

68 Apple's Enhanced Computer: The Apple lie by 

Robin Moore / For about the same price as the II, the lie 
gives you a variety of exciting new features and 
capabilities. 

90 An Interview with Wayne Rosing, Bruce 
Daniels, and Larry Tesler by Chris Morgan, Gregg 
Williams, and Phil Lemmons / Three key members of 
Apple's engineering staff discuss the development of the 
Lisa computer system. 

118 The Enhanced VIC-20, Part 1 : Adding a Reset 
Switch by Joel Swank / How to add a convenient feature 
to your VIC-20. 

1 30 The World of Standards by Chuck Card, R. 
Donald Prigge, Josephine L. Walkowicz, and Marjorie F. 
Hill / The process for producing American National 
Standards is full of checks and balances. 

1 46 Welcome to the Standards Jungle by Ian H. 

Witten / An in-depth look at the confusing world of 
computer connections. 

182 A Proposed Floppy-Disk Format Standard by 

Chuck Card / A brief description of a proposed format that 
will allow you to interchange disks from several systems. 

1 94 The Proposed ANSI BASIC Standard by Ronald 
Anderson / The committee asks for your opinion. 

203 NAPLPS: A New Standard for Text and 
Graphics, Part 1 : Introduction, History, and Structure 

by Jim Fleming and William Frezza / A close look at an 
important and controversial new communications standard. 

256 Realizing Graphics Standards for 
Microcomputers by Fred E. Langhorst and Thomas B. 
Clarkson III / Use of the Virtual Device Interface graphics 
system will make portable graphics application software 
possible. 

272 The IEEE Standard for the S-100 Bus by Mark 
Garetz / Standardization helps manufacturers design 
compatible components independently. 



314 Problem Oriented Language, Part 3: 
Assembling the Modules by Mark Finger / The final 
segment of this article describes assembling the modules 
into a complete programming system. 

347 User's Column: Confessions, Pascal Prime, 
Wescon, and Perfect Writer by Jerry Pournelle / Our 

resident critic comments on Wescon and text editors. 

392 Shape-Table Graphics for the TRS-80 by Dan 

Rollins / Draw complex shapes with a single command. 

452 Passing Untyped Parameters In UCSD Pascal 

by Eliakim Willner / An assembler-language function and a 
"trick" combine in a parameter-passing method. 

458 A Terminal Program for the TRS-80 Model III 

by Ralph L. James / A world of information is just a phone 
call away. 



Reviews 

302 The Scribble Text Processor by Christopher O. Kern 
366 LDOS Utilities by Tim Daneliuk 



Nucleus 



6 

14 

28, 

370, 



371 

378 

428 
434 
441 
442 
444 
446 
468 
525 
526 
527 



Editorial: Standards: The Love/Hate Relationship 

Letters 

127, 370, 433, 441 BYTE's Bits 

374 Book Reviews: 68000 Assembly Language 

Programming; A Practical Introduction to Computer 

Graphics 

Technical Forum: The Magic of the Monte Carlo 

Method 

System Notes: A High-Resolution Analog-to-Digital 

Converter for the TRS-80 

BYTELINES 

Event Queue 

Books Received 

Ask BYTE 

Clubs and Newsletters 

Software Received 

What's New? 

Unclassified Ads 

BOMB, BOMB Results 

Reader Service 




I'M 



Managing Editor 

Mark Haas 
Technical Editors 

Gregg Williams, Senior Editor; 

Richard S. Shuford. Curtis P. Feigel, 

Arthur Little. Stanley Wszola, 

Pamela Clark, Richard Malloy; 

Phillip Lemmons, West Coast Editor; Steve 

Ciarcia, Mark Dahmke. Consulting Editors; 

Jon Swanson, Drafting Editor 

Copy Editors 

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Assistants 

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Publishers 

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

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




In This Issue 

Microcomputer enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the release of 
Apple's new machines, the Lisa and the lie (featured in our cover photo by 
Mike Blake). Officially announced on January 19, these computers, especially 
the Lisa, are big news. Rumors have been rife about Apple's new products for 
quite a while, but now the speculation has come to an end and BYTE features 
three exclusive articles about them. Gregg Williams writes an in-depth descrip- 
tion of "The Lisa Computer System," Robin Moore reviews "Apple's Enhanced 
Computer: The Apple lie," and Chris Morgan, Gregg Williams, and Phil Lem- 
mons interview three key members of the Lisa design team. 

A boon to microcomputer users and a bane to many manufacturers, stan- 
dards are a current hot topic within the computer industry. This month we 
feature several articles on the topic of standards, including "The IEEE Standard 
for the S-IOO Bus" by Mark Garetz, "Realizing Graphics Standards for Micro- 
computers" by Fred E. Langhorst and Thomas B. Clarkson III, "A Proposed 
Floppy-Disk Format Standard" by Chuck Card, and part 1 of "NAPLPS: A New 
Standard for Text and Graphics" by Jim Fleming and William Frezza. Also 
featured this month: Steve Ciarcia tells how to "Build a Handheld LCD Ter- 
minal," Jerry Pournelle writes about "Confessions, Pascal Prime, Wescon, and 
Perfect Writer," and Joel Swank starts our new series on the Commodore 
VIC-20. 



BYTE is published monthly by McGraw-Hill, Inc., with offices at 70 Main St, Peterborough NH 03458. phone 
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4 February 19»3 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Editorial 



Standards 

The Love/Hate 
Relationship 



Richard S. Shuford, Special Projects Editor 

When you begin to study the history of technology, you learn about Eli 
Whitney's famous demonstration in 1801 of his mechanized process for mak- 
ing interchangeable firearms parts: the first successful attempt at industrial 
standardization. 

Or so he claimed. According to Edwin Battison, director of the American 
Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont, Whitney's demonstration was faked. 
To be sure, some gun parts were interchanged under the watchful eyes of 
United States War Department officials, but the parts had been specially made 
for the event by hand. Whitney couldn't deliver on the promises he made, and 
the 10,000 badly assembled muskets his company delivered (several years 
later) turned out to be the bane of the infantry. 

The essence of this story may sound sadly familiar to computer users. Too 
often we see a computer product advertised as possessing a feature that incor- 
porates some industry standard, but when it comes time to use the feature, we 
find annoying restrictions. Sometimes we have to pay more to get another 
feature that supports the standard feature, or the feature does not really work 
at all in the standard way. Disgruntled souls may conclude that the computer 
industry follows no standards at all. 

Those of us who work with computers have a love/hate relationship with 
standards. According to Robert Rountree of the National Bureau of Stan- 
dards, "Computer users love standards; computer manufacturers hate them." 

How Standards Emerge 

A standard, in theory, represents a consensus of expert opinion on how to 
perform a given technological function. The standards process, in the words of 
Dr. John A. N. Lee, vice-chairman of the Standards Committee of the ACM 
(Association for Computing Machinery), is "putting current technology into 
systematized form, available to everybody, and it's also developing a consen- 
sus in a peer-review process." 

Some standards are born casually; others come into being after lengthy, for- 
mal give-and-take in carefully appointed committees. Many standards in the 
computer industry are de facto, that is, they emerged because one person or 
company invented a way of performing some function that has been near- 
universally imitated by everyone else in the industry. Other computer stan- 
dards are devised formally by an accredited standards-making organization or 
by the government; many of these latter standards are compromises worked 
out among representatives of parties that originally invented incompatible 
methods of performing the same function. 



6 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Editorial. 



The most tempting approach to standardization is that 
of the "Lone Ranger." And it works, sometimes. In this 
approach, one individual, group, or company develops a 
method for performing a technological function, presents 
it to the world, and says, "Please do this my way." Occa- 
sionally a proposed standard graduates from Lone- 
Ranger status to general approval and use, but most such 
attempts languish in obscurity, unless the proposing per- 
son or organization has lots of clout, regardless of the 
technical merits of the proposal. 

We find that technical merit often has nothing to do 
with whether one of several competing technological 
developments becomes an accepted standard. In stan- 
dards work, to mix metaphors a bit, a bird in the hand is 
usually worth the whole ball game. The first product of a 
given type to achieve widest commercial distribution 
usually sets the standards. Thus, we have the S-100 bus 
(now the IEEE 696 bus) derived from the first successful 
microcomputer, and we have many de facto standards: 
the IBM 3740 disk format, Digital Research's CP/M-80 
operating system, and Microsoft BASIC. 

Pure political and financial muscle also helps establish 
a standard. AT&T will probably overwhelm all competi- 
tion in videotex encoding with its NAPLPS (North 
American Presentation-Level-Protocol Syntax), which 



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was presented to ANSI (American National Standards In- 
stitute) on a silver platter for formal acceptance. Even for 
corporate giants having a bird in the hand helps. IBM will 
probably have no chance of getting its own graphics/ 
videotex system adopted, simply because NAPLPS got 
there first. 

Forces Hindering Standardization 

It's fairly obvious why computer users like standards. 
Standards make their life easier in thousands of ways. 
But the reasons standards may be disliked by the people 
who make computers or peripherals are more obscure. 

A creative engineer designing a new computer may feel 
that following a standard specification is too restrictive. 
And some companies fear that manufacturing standard- 
ized products makes for humdrum marketing and lack of 
attention from potential customers. They want to dif- 
ferentiate their products from what has gone before. 
Then, too, there are the costs involved in finding out 
what standards exist and are appropriate for a certain 
product, in obtaining the technical specifications and en- 
forcing their use during the design phase, and in testing 
for compliance. Products designed before the standard 
was developed may prove difficult or prohibitively ex- 
pensive to adapt. Furthermore, some existing standards 
were poorly thought out or froze technology before it 
matured. These and other reasons can discourage 
manufacturers from complying with standards. 

As well, the making of standards themselves has its 
own problems and costs. Most American National Stan- 
dards ultimately cost tens or even hundreds of thousands 
of dollars, either as direct or indirect expenses, to develop 
and distribute. Standards work is largely done by 
volunteers, and sometimes obviously useful efforts to 
develop standards are delayed or abandoned because of 
manpower shortages. 

In addition to economic problems, the politics of deci- 
sion making by committee and legal obstacles sometimes 
muddy the waters of standardization. The most dramatic 
example is the Supreme Court's ruling last year against 
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers {Hydro- 
level v. ASME) that the Society was liable under antitrust 
law for abuses by its representative of its own standards- 
interpretation process. Although the Hydrolevel decision 
hung on the intentional abuse that occurred (it seems 
unlikely that a standards-making organization would 
have the same liability if its representatives acted in good 
faith), the case has caused some review of procedures in 
other organizations. 

Another obstacle is time. The standards-making pro- 
cess is lengthy and slow. The amount of time required by 
ANSI for public comment and peer review is intended to 
prevent any abuse of ANSI's standard-making pro- 
cedures, but it also drags out the process. Some in- 
dividuals and organizations have tried, with varying 
degrees of success, different means of avoiding the slow 
ANSI procedures. One way to avoid having to make an 



8 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Editorial 



ANSI standard is to go through the IEEE (Institute of 
Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Although a member 
of ANSI, the IEEE has been developing standards on its 
own authority using its own committee process (some- 
times a joint ANSI/IEEE standard emerges). IEEE stan- 
dards have been well received by the industry, but even 
these typically take years to gel. 

Contributions Are Needed 

Are you now asking, "Can something be done to im- 
prove the standards process?" Yes, within limits. 

Although the computer-standards community at first 
seems like an intimidating monolith, it is composed, for 
the most part, of men and women who are sincerely do- 
ing what they can to systematize the rapidly changing 
technology of computing. They possibly could use your 
help. 

You can get involved in several ways. The simplest is 
to use existing standards in your current work and pro- 
mote their use among your associates. When buying 
computer products, favor those that employ industry 
standards. 

If you have expertise in a field where standards are be- 
ing developed, you should obtain copies of the proposed 
standards documents during the public-comment period 
and send your written comments to the appropriate 
bodies (for a list of addresses, see page 142). If you are a 
member of a professional society, such as the IEEE or the 
ACM, you can work though your society, informing 
members of its standards committees about your 
preferences and telling them if you think certain new 
standards need to be made or old ones changed. This is 
especially important for those of us who work with 
microcomputers, because many of the members of formal 







standards committees have experience only with larger 
computers. 

Better yet, inquire about becoming a member of an ap- 
propriate committee. You can join the thousands of peo- 
ple working in the standards process and share their pride 
in helping to make advanced technology more available 
to everyone. ■ 



References and Periodicals 

American National Standards Cover the Wide World of Information 

Processing: SP X7J. New York: American National Standards 

Institute. Copies available free from ANSI. 
American National Standards Institute Procedures for Management 

and Coordination of American National Standards. New York: 

ANSI. Single copies free from ANSI. 
Catalog of American National Standards. New York: ANSI, 1982. 
Catalog of EIA and JEDEC Standards and Engineering Publications. 

Washington, DC: Electronic Industries Association, 1982. 
Folts, Harold C. (ed.) McGraw-Hill's Compilation of Data Communica- 
tions Standards, Edition II. New York: McGraw-Hill Publications 

Co., 1982. 
Hill, I. D. and B. L. Meek. Programming Language Standardisation. 

New York: Halsted Press, John Wiley & Sons, 1980. 
Infocomm Standards. Newsletter of information standards published 

by Data Communications magazine. McGraw-Hill Publications Co 

1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. 
Morgan, Christopher P. "Can We Agree on Standards?" Novembe 

1981 BYTE, page 6. 
NBS Publications List 88: The Computer Science and Technology 

Series. Washington, DC: Institute for Computer Sciences and 

Technology, National Bureau of Standards, 1982. 
NBS Update. Biweekly newsletter of the National Bureau c 

Standards. 

Pittman, Tom. "A Recipe for Standards." April 1982 BYTE, page 26 
Prigge, R. Donald, Marjorie F. Hill, and Josephine L. Walkowicz. The 

World of EDP Standards, 3rd ed. Blue Bell, PA: Sperry-Univac, 

1978. 



From the Publishers 



These are exciting times for the microcomputer industry 
and for BYTE in particular. During 1982 the industry once 
again exceeded even the most optimistic predictions of 
economists, and the performance of BYTE exceeded even the 
most optimistic predictions of its management. Our audited 
paid circulation was 324,000 by year-end and we know that 
at least twice as many readers see each issue. The tremendous 
results that advertisers have obtained by placing their 
messages in BYTE magazine led to the first ever (according to 
some publishing industry commentators) 1000-page increase 
in a single year. 

Fortunately, even if we were somewhat conservative in 
our predictions of BYTE's performance in 1982, we were ag- 
gressive in our efforts in maintaining the strength and quality 
of the BYTE staff. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 
BYTE editorial department which, of course, is solely 
responsible for the indisputable fact that BYTE has become 
the most respected and trusted voice in computer publishing. 

It is because of our strong staff that we can calmly wish 



Editor in Chief Chris Morgan the best of luck as he begins to 
devote the lion's share of his time to a new software com- 
pany. Because Chris has planned out a year's worth of theme 
issues in advance, has guided the selection of specific articles 
for many months in advance, and has developed an editorial 
staff that for more than a year has produced editorial content 
up to the high standards for which BYTE has become famous 
(all this with Chris on the road much of the time), we can 
guarantee the continued unstinting editorial excellence you 
have come to expect in BYTE. 

We remain guided by the thought expressed on the occa- 
sion of our fifth anniversary in September 1980: "Although 
the trappings of success are pleasant for us to contemplate, 
we would be foolish to forget the philosophy that has pro- 
duced them: giving both readers and advertisers good value 
for their dollar. " 

Virginia Londoner 
Gordon R. Williamson 



10 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Letters 



For the Record 



Peter Callamaras's review of our Ex- 
ecutive Briefing System (November 1982 
BYTE, page 164) was greatly appreciated 
here at Lotus. However, the article was in- 
correct in the At a Glance section, which 
listed Mitchell Kapor as the author of 
EBS. 

While Mitchell designed the program 
and supervised its implementation, EBS 
was coded by Todd Agulnick, a 15-year- 
old resident of Newton, Massachusetts. 
Todd was first employed by Mitchell at 
the age of 12, and he continues to be a 
source of inspiration for all of us here at 
Lotus. His great skill and intellect are ap- 
preciated almost as much as his fine sense 
of humor. 

Mary Lynn Davis, Graphics Project 

Manager 
Lotus Development Corp. 
55 Wheeler St. 
Cambridge, MA 02139 



More on BASIC Standards 

I read with interest Howard G. Drake's 
letter dealing with the current and pro- 
posed standards for BASIC (October 1982 
BYTE, page 18) and wish to comment on 
two points raised in the letter. 

First, the requirement to have DIM 
statements preceding their use in line- 
numbered sequence is not new. It has 
been in the ANSI (American National 
Standards Institute) Minimal BASIC Stan- 
dard since the approval of that standard 
in January of 1978. 

The requirement to recognize the ex- 
istence of DIM statements in line- 
numbered sequence (rather than in logical 
sequence) stems from the desire to have 
the one BASIC program give the same 
result when that program is run under two 
implementations, one of which is an inter- 
preter and the other a compiler. 

Another point raised by Mr. Drake 
concerned the need for the interpreter to 
do a pre-scan in order to recognize the 
presence of DIM statements. 

The X3J2 BASIC Committee was very 
careful to assure that a pre-scan was not 
required. The suggested technique when a 
forward transfer-of-control is indicated 
(as in Mr. Drake's example) is to examine 
the statements passed over "at the time 
that they are passed over," to see if they 



include any of the statements that must 
appear in line-numbered sequence prior to 
their use. These statements include the 
DIM statement, as well as any OPTION 
statements (OPTION BASE, OPTION 
ARITHMETIC, etc.), and any function- 
definitions. 

By taking this approach, BASIC pro- 
cessors need only look at those statements 
up to and including the one being refer- 
enced and need not do a pre-scan of the 
entire program. 

I heartily agree that any interested par- 
ties should obtain a copy of the Proposed 
ANSI BASIC Standard, read it, and com- 
ment on it, if they find anything that they 
believe should be changed. 

M. O. Duke 

IBM 

Santa Teresa Laboratory 

555 Bailey Ave. 

San Jose, CA 95150 



Credit Where It's Due 

I recently saw the October 1982 BYTE 
editorial in which Chris Morgan described 
videotex and teletext. I'd like to correct 
one statement regarding closed-caption- 
ing. The three networks broadcasting 
closed-captioned programs are PBS, 
NBC, and ABC; not CBS. CBS has stead- 
fastly refused to provide captions on its 
programs for the benefit of hearing- 
impaired people. 

Your omission of ABC is most unfor- 
tunate because that network was in- 
strumental in the development of the 
closed-captioning technology. It leads the 
way in providing closed-captioning ser- 
vices. For example, ABC recently added 
closed captions to all broadcasts of ABC's 
"World News Tonight." 

Jane Edmondson, Director 

Products Promotion and Public Relations 

National Captioning Institute 

5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1500 

Falls Church, VA 22041 



This Thing Called NAPLPS 

With regard to Chris Morgan's editorial 
discussing "This Thing Called Videotex" 
("Some Answers to Frequently Asked 
Questions," October 1982 BYTE, page 
10), let me respond with one definition of 
what videotex is today. 

The North American Presentation Level 



Protocol Syntax (NAPLPS) allows text 
and graphics to be encoded in a manner 
independent of the display apparatus on 
which it will be presented. Virtually any 
micro-, mini-, or mainframe computer 
can be configured to generate NAPLPS 
pages, and any communications medi- 
um—whether it be telephone, broadcast, 
cable television, microwave, or satellite 
transmission — can be used. 

What does this mean to microcomputer 
users today? Throughout North America 
microcomputers from virtually any 
manufacturer have a common format for 
text and color graphics that can be com- 
municated universally. NAPLPS is a sim- 
ple, highly efficient and economical color 
graphics generator in combination with a 
decoder. Here are some examples of what 
is being accomplished today: 

• Users of Hewlett-Packard 80 Series, 
Commodore PET, and other microcom- 
puters are now being offered a color- 
graphics program for Visicalc. The soft- 
ware digests raw Visicalc data files and 
automatically draws color charts and 
graphs including exploded pie charts. 

• IBM Personal Computer users can ob- 
tain an electronic slide show program that 
simulates the 35-millimeter slide carousel 
but has additional features such as 
random-access retrieval of individual 
slides and the synchronizing of a sound 
track for a full audio-visual presentation. 
These slides can be displayed on a color 
monitor or even a large screen using a 
video projector. 

• North Star computers are being used as 
hosts to drive large screen displays of elec- 
tronic billboard advertising in shopping 
malls. 

Other microcomputers are incor- 
porating color graphics into computer- 
aided learning courseware and public- 
access market-research terminals, and 
marketing presentations are being pre- 
pared and, through the decoder, trans- 
ferred onto video tapes. 

Hard-copy service bureaus will soon be 
available that will provide any page 
creator the capability to download 
NAPLPS-encoded pages by telephone and 
have 35-millimeter slides, overhead 
transparencies, and other film media pro- 
duced for them overnight and delivered 
the next day. Furthermore, paper hard 
copy is obtainable with the use of jet ink 
plotters — ideal for charts and graphs that 



14 Frt.ru.ry 1983 © BYTE Publication. Inc 



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Letters , 



need to be inserted into textual reports. 

Because NAPLPS is display-resolution 
insensitive, these same files, although 
created at a lower resolution, can be 
redisplayed through a higher-resolution 
decoder with no modification to the 
original file. The hard copy, whether film 
or paper, becomes a higher-quality image. 
Additionally, broadcast-quality graphics 
and NTSC- (National Television System 
Committee) standard video tapes are be- 
ing used by broadcasters to augment their 



graphics requirements. Even audio-visual 
producers are using this same method to 
bring down the costs of their productions 
while preserving the quality. 

What other color-graphics system can 
provide a universal communications 
coding format for virtually any micro- 
computer? What other color-graphics 
protocol specification is in the public do- 
main? What other color-graphics display 
generator (decoder) has a choice of over 
32,000 colors, 16 of which are displayable 



Soup to Nuts. 




Some would 
have you think 
that a matrix printer 
is a mere side dish that 
comes with your computer. 

Don't believe it. 

What you get out of your printer is what you get out 
of your computer. If your printer is small, slow, noisy 
or unreliable, your computer will be limited, sluggish, 
irritating, or inoperable. Just telling it like it is. 

That's why Infoscribe has come up with a gourmet 
line of multifunction matrix printers specifically for 
business and professional users. 

You can switch from high-speed data processing 
to business letters, at will; handle up tol6-inch- 
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ate gorgeous graphics in up to eight colors; and 
enjoy truly elegant and incredibly quiet operation, 
day-in and day-out. 

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

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

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simultaneously, among a host of other 
features? What other color-graphics 
system can boast the use of a conventional 
color television as a display monitor and 
can be purchased for a price starting at 
$11007 

Only decoders implementing full 
NAPLPS can satisfy these features and 
others. With this capability now within 
the reach of the majority of microcom- 
puters, the challenge of creative, interac- 
tive graphics software lies with all 
microcomputer users, whether they be 
hobbyists or professional programmers. 
The challenge is here today at a price com- 
petitors can really only dream about. 

Zal Press, Manager 

Business Graphics 

Marketing Group 

Norpak Ltd. 

1351 Washington Blvd., Suite 3000 

Stamford, CT 06902 



In Defense of User Protection 

In the last year I have read several ar- 
ticles regarding software piracy. Due to 
this piracy, the creators of software are 
becoming more and more reticent about 
making available the source documents 
and code for a program. 

Their caution is well placed because of 
the wholesale program theft that has 
taken place in some instances. Then, too, 
it's possible that the creator stole some 
major part of the program from someone 
else, and the lack of an available source 
listing prevents anyone from proving it. 

Before we get too far down the road to 
complete nonavailability of source code, 
may I propose some protection for the 
legitimate user? 

First, companies can and do go out of 
business every day. While one software 
creator may not, another may. Without 
the source code to update the program for 
system and language enhancements yet to 
come, that program will become worth- 
less and be lost. 

Second, because of market conditions, 
a developer may cease to offer the soft- 
ware or cease to update it. As a result, the 
software eventually becomes worthless 
without source to allow the updating of it. 

Third, the program offered may have 
been almost worthless to start with due to 
errors. The developer made a fast buck, 
and the buyer was taken. At least with 
source, some corrections can be made. 

A fourth reason for some user protec- 
tion is that a successful creator may decide 



16 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Letters , 



- 



that creation is what he is good at and 
he'd rather not be bothered by support, 
sales, etc., and so he enters into a royalty 
agreement for the program with an in- 
dependent dealer. Now suppose this 
dealer wants to sell packages but not help 
you, the buyer, recover from a system 
crash or a program bug. Without source 
or even data on file structures being 
available, you have to start over after 
every crash. 



There is a way out of this morass of 
uncertainty, and that is an industry-wide 
uniform software trust agreement, en- 
forced by a trade journal's refusal to ac- 
cept advertising of software unless the 
creator or vendor has placed the source 
code in trust with an independent third 
party who holds both the names of the 
legitimate licensees and the latest source 
files and documentation. 

Vendors should be responsible for pro- 



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viding copies of all user licenses and 
regularly update the source code on file 
with the trustee. In return, the trustee 
agrees to hold source documentation in- 
violate (sealed) unless a vendor commits 
certain acts (I'll discuss these acts later 
on). Thus, protection exists for the ven- 
dors (in that the source is still protected) 
and for the legitimate user as well. 

To the legitimate user, source becomes 
available, for a fee, in the event that the 
vendor ceases to function. 

The trustee has these responsibilities: 
(1) to hold source code and related 
documentation sealed and inviolate unless 
certain acts are committed, (2) to notify 
only licensed users at their last known ad- 
dress by first class mail as to the acts com- 
mitted, and (3) to provide to the licensed 
users only, for a fee related to the repro- 
duction cost, the source code and docu- 
mentation, when permissible. 

What are these vendor acts and subse- 
quent trustee actions? First, in the event of 
total sale of program rights to another 
vendor, the trustee should notify licensees 
of the event and the name and address of 
the buyer who has assumed the support 
obligation. In the event of adjudgment of 
the developer as bankrupt, ceasing of the 
vendor to do business, decision by the 
vendor to cease to offer support, or sale of 
program rights without an obligation to 
assume existing package support, the 
trustee shall so notify licensed users and 
make available for one year source and 
documentation for a fee. 

There remains the question of users 
who find program vendors/creators either 
unwilling or unable to provide adequate 
support for their packages to licensed 
users. For this some mechanism should 
allow licensed users to petition the trustee 
if they feel that a vendor is providing in- 
adequate support. If some threshold level 
(say 5 percent) of the licensed users of a 
program complain to the trustee of inade- 
quate service, the trustee should be re- 
quired to notify all licensees that com- 
plaints have been received. If the trustee 
gets a positive response from a majority of 
the users that such is the case, the trustee 
should then provide source code and doc- 
umentation to users for a fee. 

Such an agreement can adequately pro- 
tect vendors as long as they want to be 
protected and will probably protect the 
user for longer than the economic life of 
the package. 

Whatever methodology is created to 
protect both the user and the creator, total 
and permanent unavailability of source to 



18 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Cdex ™ Training for VisiCalc 
Makes VisiCalc Easy. 




In an hour, Cdex Training for VisiCalc can 
make you a VisiCalc user. Or for the experi- 
enced VisiCalc user Cdex Training for 
VisiCalc acts as an instantaneous elec- 
tronic reference and review system. 

It's a computer-assisted training program 
that works. It's highly interactive. So it 
creates a dialogue with you and serves as 



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We don't make VisiCalc. 
We just make it easy. 

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VisiCalc' is a registered trademark of VisiCorpI" 
BYTE February 1»83 19 



Letters. 







— 



ilUIHIIIIilMUIgg 



I^H^^^^^^^^M^^^M^HH 



a legitimate user is not an acceptable 
answer. 

William E. Young, CPA 
13901 Jefferson Davis Hwy. 
Woodbridge, VA 22191 

Mlnspeak Applauded 

I read with great attention the "Min- 
speak" article by Bruce Baker (September 
1982 BYTE, page 86). Minspeak is the 
most exciting use of computer technology 
that I have encountered because it goes 
beyond the use of the computer to manip- 
ulate data and/or symbols and deals with 
the fundamental issues of human com- 
munication and the way we think. 

While Mr. Baker deals almost exclusive- 
ly with the application of Minspeak to the 

nnninpakinp nnnnlatinn ¥ho Ainrlcrr, or .f t! 



into the genuinely exciting new realms of 
electronic technology and its applications 
to human problems and potentials. 

David O. Justice, Dean 
School for New Learning 
DePaul University 
23 East Jackson Blvd. 
Chicago, IL 60604 

Computer Poetry: 
Art or Craft? 

Kevin McKean's article "Computers, 
Fiction, and Poetry" (July 1982 BYTE, 
page 50) nearly supplies some important 
implications about the nature of creativi- 
ty. The examples of computer-written 
poetry suggest that computers can now 
make many judgments rapidly but cannot 



good word for its "1" and "e" sounds, 
matched in "parallels," and for the overall 
dreamlike, wistful quality that the word 
contributes to the line. Of course, he may 
have had other reasons as well. 

Today, because western culture seems 
to have weaker ties with tradition than in 
the past, and because ours is more than 
ever a culture without a sense of history, 
it is understandable that considerations of 
creativity focus on the ceaseless fluctua- 
tions common to the thought process, 
rather than on the decisions that artists 
make after much thought. Still, an artist 
may draw upon any or all of his life's 
history in order to pass judgment on a 
single word. His intellect, his moral in- 
tegrity, his honesty, his passion, his love, 
his hope, his hate, his fear, his skepticism, 
his faith— in short, the sum of the poet's 



ARE YOU SHU LETTING 

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Letters , 



knowledge of contrast, feeling for light 
and shade, all that information (primitive 
sense) necessary for a poem." 

If you could accurately enter your 
whole life into a computer without leav- 
ing the minutest fact out, then the com- 
puter could possess a chance of becoming 
artistic. But even then the computer 
would have to be considered the protege 
of its programmer. For now, computers 
may be profitably used as electronic 
thesauri, as servants to the new craft of 
electronic poetry-writing. As far as the art 
of poetry is concerned, computers will 
have to wait. 

Rob Zseleczky 

19 Tanglewood Lane 

Chatham, NJ 07928 

Not-So-Standard Automobiles 

In part 1 of his article "An Introduction 
to the Human Applications Standard 
Computer Interface" (October 1982 
BYTE, page 291), Chris Rutkowski used 
the early development of the automobile 
as a case study to explain how microcom- 
puter technology is still in its formative 
years because it has not come up with a 
standardized, easy-to-use format. This is 
a viable analogy, but Chris was a little off 
on his time frame. He says "you would be 
able to climb into the typical automobile 
of 1925 and drive it away." For most 
readers of BYTE today this would not be 
true. In 1925 approximately 50 percent of 
the cars being sold in the United States 
were Model T Fords. The Model T Ford 
used a pedal-controlled planetary trans- 
mission that a modern driver would not 
understand without instruction or prior 
use. Other 1925 makes also had irregular 
controls, such as spark levers, hand throt- 
tles, oddly placed starter buttons, etc. Ac- 
tually, the standardization of most 
automobile operations took much longer 
than Chris surmised. Hopefully, the pro- 
cess will not take so long in the microcom- 
puter industry. 

Fred K. Fox 

13150 El Capitan Way 

Delhi, CA 95315 

Total Talk Talks Back 

In response to David Stoffel's article 
'Talking Terminals" (September 1982 
BYTE, page 218), I would like to thank 
BYTE for giving this subject the attention 
it deserves. However, as the manufacturer 



of one of the products described by Mr. 
Stoffel, I'd like to state that numerous in- 
accuracies appear in his article. 

Contrary to the impression given in the 
article, Total Talk from Maryland Com- 
puter Services Inc. (MCS) offers both a 
user-definable vocabulary and ful 
numbers capabilities (it can speak 123 as 
"one two three" or "one hundred anc 
twenty-three"). To my knowledge, MCS 
was the first to offer these features. It is 
also false that Total Talk does not have a 
cursor locator. Total Talk has had this 
since the product was introduced in June 
of 1980. 

The author fails to mention many of the 
advantages of incorporating speech into 
an existing terminal. Total Talk offers an 
Enunciation key to tell you the terminal's 
status and the function of a key without 
executing the function; the device can 
vocalize the terminal's communication 
parameters and can set tabs and margins. 
Also you can define keys to perform 
specific tasks, such as say the line, say the 
word, and spell the word. This is essentia 
to the nontechnical user in that escape 
codes do not have to be memorized. 

The approach that places the speech 
box between the terminal and the host has 
several disadvantages. What is displayec 
on the screen is not an accurate represen- 
tation of what is stored in the speech box's 
buffer. This is a severe disadvantage when 
the blind operator must interact with 
sighted co-workers or instructors. Full 
page editing cannot be accomplished. 

Capabilities that are very useful to 
Total Talk's users but were not mentionec 
in Mr. Stoffel's article are notification that 
the cursor is at the end of the line, moving 
the cursor forward and backward either a 
word at a time or a line at a time without 
speaking the word or line, and reading up 
and down columns. 

Mr. Stoffel's comment that "Total Talk 
loses data after receiving 120 characters' 
shows a lack of understanding of the ter- 
minal. Total Talk has three sophisticatec 
handshaking capabilities— XON/XOFF 
Data Terminal Ready, and Inquire/Ac- 
knowledge. If your host computer does 
not support these capabilities, then you 
simply cannot use "Log Bottom," a 
feature that reads the data as it appears on 
the screen. If the terminal is configuret 
correctly, data is not lost. 

The article states that screen-oriented 
programs like Wordstar are not practical 
using speech output. We take exception to 
this because our customers are using Tota 
Talk and Information Thru Speech (our 



24 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Letters. 



. 



talking microcomputer/terminal) for this 
purpose every day. This also raises the 
question of why our Information Thru 
Speech terminal, which has been on the 
market since January of 1982, was never 
mentioned. 

Finally, Mr. Stoffel hopes that the price 
of talking terminals will go down or their 
capabilities will increase. This is exactly 
what happened this year when MCS an- 
nounced more powerful machines and a 
decrease in prices from 15 to 50 percent. 

J. Michael Mason, Vice-President 

Marketing 

Maryland Computer Services Inc. 

2010 Rock Spring Rd. 

Forest Hill, MD 21050 



Terminology Correction 

The use of terminology in Jack L. 
Abbot's review "Systems Plus: FMS-80" 
(October 1982 BYTE, page 447) was dis- 
turbing. The article was well written, in- 
formative, and provided a reasonable set 
of data from which to draw some conclu- 
sions and comparisons to other systems. 
However, to call FMS-80 a "relational" 



DBMS (database-management system) is 
appalling. It is bad enough that vendors 
misuse terminology, but a publication 
should not further perpetrate such 
misguidance. Some purists might argue 
that FMS-80 is not even a DBMS. And 
there are purists who have strict rules on 
the definition of a relational DBMS. In 
either case, most experts agree that a rela- 
tional DBMS has, at a minimum, specific 
functional (e.g., project and join) and 
representational (e.g., tabular user view) 
components as its foundation. What will 
you tell your readers when the true rela- 
tional DBMS is developed for microcom- 
puters? As the leading journal for small- 
systems users, BYTE should attempt to 
use standard systems terminology when 
appropriate and not allow vendors to 
mislead the public any further than their 
advertisements do. 

I do not want to detract from an ex- 
tremely powerful personal computer tool 
such as FMS-80. 1 am currently evaluating 
file-management software for personal 
computers and have been surprised by 
the comprehensiveness and depth of func- 
tions of such packages. These rival many 
of the tools offered on larger systems and 



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should virtually eliminate for most users 
the need to create their own programs. 

Michael Lutz, Manager 
Data Administration 
Davis Chemical Division 
W.R. Grace & Co. 
POB 2117 
Baltimore, MD 21203 

User's Column Under Fire 

As a subscriber to BYTE, I am com- 
pelled to write questioning the profession- 
alism of your monthly User's Column 
written by Jerry Pournelle. 

BYTE is an informative computer 
magazine that stands head and shoulders 
above any other small systems journals. 
All the hardware reviews are concise and 
informative. Steve Ciarcia does an ex- 
cellent job of breaking hardware design 
down to a simple process for most hobby- 
ists. Sol Libes keeps the latest information 
on new products available for all readers. 

However, I find Mr. Pournelle's month- 
ly column neither useful nor coherent. All 
I understand from his column is that he is 
always very busy and has many friends 
that allow him access to free hardware 
and software. In the Septebmer 1982 
BYTE, he explained that he belongs to a 
large number of clubs and organizations 
and doesn't know how to do all the ac- 
tivities he does each month. 

That kind of text has no place in BYTE. 
As a reader, I am concerned with the 
topics covered in the column, not with 
what the author did while preparing it. 
When reading User's Column I feel that I 
am reading a letter from a long lost friend 
who is trying to tell me everything that 
has happened during the last three years. 

User's Column is both useful and neces- 
sary, but please keep it up to the fine stan- 
dards that BYTE is known for. In future 
issues, don't allow Mr. Pournelle to ram- 
ble incoherently page after page. 

Ron Dyer 

40 Godstone Rd., Suite 305 
Willowdale, Ontario 
M2J 3C7 Canada 

I was appalled by Jerry Pournelle's 
cent defense of software hacking (se 
"User's Column: A BASIC and Pascal 
Benchmark, Elegance, Apologies, and 
FORTH," October 1982 BYTE, page 254). 
I defy you to name any other engineering 
discipline in which disorganized, patch- 
as-you-go approaches are considered to 
be acceptable practice. 




26 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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28 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 





Letters. 



Clear thought solves problems. Code 
does not solve problems. Code imple- 
ments the solutions to problems. 

Computer languages form a class of 
tools to aid in clear thought. Other tools 
include formal mathematics, eloquent 
English, and analysis techniques specific 
to the problem area. 

Office buildings, bridges, dams, oil 
pipelines, rapid transit systems, some 
large ships, new forms of life created by 
means of recombinant DNA, movies, 
newspaper articles, and letters to the 
editor of BYTE, all are one-of-a-kind crea- 
tions. Their creators undoubtedly work 
under as much pressure as that experi- 
enced by computer programmers. Which 
of these creations would Mr. Pournelle 
like to see built by the same techniques he 
advocates for software? 

Daniel Ross 

Succinct Systems 

1346 River St. 

Santa Cruz, CA 95060 ■ 



Circle 104 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE's Bits 



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Through the center, nearby users will 
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Data General maintains training centers 
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Product Description 



The Lisa Computer System 

Apple designs a new kind of machine. 



Gregg Williams 
Senior Editor 



I had an interesting conversation with an engineer on a 
recent flight from San Francisco to New York. He knew 
only a little about microcomputers, but he was aware 
that their presence is slowly becoming more common in 
the workplace. "Sure, the industry is healthy, but it's still 
only reaching a few people," he said. "Most people won't 
use computers — they're afraid of them, they don't know 
what to use them for, or it's too much trouble to use 
them. Before computers become really profitable, they're 
going to have to be very easy to use. They have to be 
simpler. They've got to be useful in the office." 

He continued, "We've 
got to stop using paper — 
which means the computer 
has to do word processing, 
filing, electronic mail, 
everything — or it'll be too 
much trouble having some 
things on the computer 
and others on paper. Then 
you've got to be able to 
talk to other computers — 
other computers like yours 
and some big corporate 
computer that's halfway 
across the country. Sure, 
it's a lot of stuff, but when 
you get all that together, 
then you'll see computers 
really take off." 

What could I say? Not 
very much, for two 
reasons. First, he was 

absolutely right— we need all that and more before 
computers become as commonplace as color TVs and 
electric typewriters. Second, I had agreed not to talk 
about a computer I had just seen that meets many of his 
points: Apple Computer's highly secret Lisa computer 
(see photo 1). 




Photo 1: The Lisa computer system. 



The Lisa at Work 

Before we take a detailed look at what the Lisa is and 
how it came about, let's look at an example of what it can 
do. Suppose I'm writing a report for my boss and I want 
to prepare a chart to illustrate a certain point. With a few 
movements of the mouse (more on this pointing device 
later), I "tear off" a sheet of Lisa Graph "paper" (thus 
activating a program called Lisa Calc and displaying an 
empty grid on the screen) and give it the heading "Annual 
Sales." I then type my numbers into the grid, name the 
graph and the x and y axes, and request a bar graph. 

Voild: I get the bar graph 
(superimposed on top of 
the data) shown in photo 
2a. At this point, I can 
simply print the graph or 
save it for inclusion with 
my report, but I'm not sat- 
isfied with the way it 
looks. I then use the mouse 
to "cut" the graph from the 
Lisa Graph paper and put 
it in a temporary storage 
place called the clipboard. 
I can then "throw away" 
the Lisa Graph "paper" I 
was using. 

My next step is to "tear 
off" a sheet of Lisa Calc 
"paper" and paste my 
"Annual Sales" bar chart 
from the clipboard onto it. 
Photo 2b shows the result. 
I want to make the bars darker, so I use the mouse to 
move the cursor (the arrow pointing diagonally up in 
photo 2b) onto the rectangle and tell the computer that I 
want to work on that bar by clicking the button on top of 
the mouse twice. (I could almost as easily have selected 
all four bars, but 111 just do one here.) As a result, the bar 



Circle 458 on inquiry card. 



February 1°83 © BYTE Publication. Inc 33 





Photos 2a-j: Creating a chart using the Lisa Graph and Lisa 
Draw programs. See the text for details of how the image is 
generated and changed. 

is selected, as shown in photo 2c. (In the Lisa system, you 
first select what you want to work on, then you select the 
action you want performed.) The small black squares 
that appear on the edge of the object are called handles; 
not only do they show which object has been selected, 
they also serve as "handles" by which the cursor can move 
or alter a shape. 

Now that the bar is selected, I move the cursor to one 
of the menu titles at the top of the screen (also shown in 
photo 2c). I see the menu of possible actions by pointing 
the cursor at the menu title and holding down the mouse 
button (photo 2d). Here, the menu is a grid of 36 varieties 
of shading that can be used to fill the selected area. When 
I move the cursor to the desired shade box and let up on 
the mouse button, the pop-up menu, as it is called, 




34 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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disappears and the shading fills the box (photo 2e). 

It is equally simple to change the size, type style, and 
position of the title "Gross Sales." By holding down the 
mouse button when the cursor points just to the left of the 
first letter and letting it up when the cursor points just past 
the last letter, I can select an area of text that the Lisa then 
puts in reverse video (photo 2f). When I select an option 
from the 'Type Style" menu (photo 2g), the text is 
redisplayed in its new size and style (photo 2h). I then 
modify the title to an italic font in a similar way (photo 2i). 
Finally, I pick up the title with the cursor, "drag" it to a new 
location, and leave it there (photo 2j). Many other 
alterations are possible. When I'm satisfied with the graph, 
I can print it, save it, or do both. 

This example conveys only a fraction of the speed and 
the ease of use associated with the Lisa computer and the 
programs that go with it. Now that we've seen the system 
at work, let's take a look at what makes it so different. 





February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 35 



The Evolution of Software 

It is instructive to see to what degree software is a part of 
Apple products. The basic Apple II, released in 1977, comes 
with about 16K bytes of object code. The Apple III, released 
in 1980, has about 200K bytes of code. The Lisa has more 
than 2 megabytes (2048K bytes) of code, a staggering figure 
that hints at the tremendous effort that goes into implement- 
ing a good piece of software. 

The history of microcomputing has been exciting so far 
because it has enabled individuals working in their spare time 
to make significant contributions to the state of the art. But 
that has changed: now most state-of-the-art software is the 
province of teams of programmers hired by companies, as 
opposed to individual programmers working for themselves. 
As programs grow more sophisticated (requiring teams of 
programmers) and have to be more carefully planned to meet 
users' needs (requiring experts in given fields to be added to 
the team of designers), the implementation of programs is 
becoming a team effort. The days of the successful entre- 
preneur/programmer are probably gone. 




Photo 3: The "mouse" pointing device is about the size of a 
package of cigarettes and has one button on top. 



Foundations of the Lisa Design 

The design effort that resulted in the Lisa computer is 
remarkably innovative because the designers did what 
designers should do — define the product's prospective 
customers, determine their needs, and then design a prod- 
uct to meet those needs. Apple was also willing to give its 
designers enough time and money (with no marketing 
restrictions attached) to first design and then create a 
computer that redefines the expression "state of the art." 
Granted, the Lisa's designers drew heavily on previous 
work done at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), 
but they refined several borrowed elements and com- 
bined them with numerous innovations. (For further 
information on the design process, see "An Interview 
with Wayne Rosing, Bruce Daniels, and Larry Tesler" on 
page 90.) 

Apple started this project with the intention of creating 
not only a product but the foundation for a whole new 
computer technology, one that would create computers 
literally anybody can use. The company's first task was 
to devise a new user interface — that is, a new and better 
way for humans to interact with the computer. The result 
was an internal (to Apple Computer Inc.) "User Interface 
Standards" document that describes how a user interacts 
with the Lisa system. 

Although the Lisa design has several important elements, 
four stand out: the machine's graphics-mouse orientation, 
the "desktop" and "data-as-concrete-object" metaphors, 
and the integrated design of the hardware and software. 
Let's look at each of these in turn. 

The graphics-mouse orientation: The traditional text 
display and keyboard input device make for a computer 
that is — let's face it — not too easy to use. Apple decided 
that the graphics resolution of the machine had to be high 
enough to use pictures (often called icons by Apple) in 
place of text. (For example, see the icons on the right- 
hand side of photo 2a.) Pictures are more easily recog- 
nized and understood than text. Because of this, you can 



probably figure out that the garbage-can icon in photo 2a 
is used to throw something away. 

Apple also knew that it needed a new, easier-to-use 
input device to move the frequently used arrow-shaped 
cursor. The designers passed over such devices as light 
pens and touch-sensitive video panels in favor of the 
mouse, a pointing device used in several Xerox PARC 
machines. The mouse, which is about the size of a pack of 
cigarettes, has a small bearing on the bottom and one or 
more buttons on the top (see photo 3). When you hold it 
in your hand and slide it across a flat surface, the mouse 
sends signals to the computer, which guide the video 
cursor in the direction that you've moved the mouse. The 
mouse Apple designed has only one button; Apple broke 
with the conventional wisdom of two- and three-button 
mice after user tests indicated that people aren't always 
sure which button to push on a multiple-button mouse. 

With graphics of sufficient quality and a mouse, the Lisa 
lets you get what you want by pointing at it. Because the 
video cursor moves in direct response to the way the hand 
moves the mouse, you feel as if you're actually pointing at 
something on the screen. This has the positive 
psychological effect of making you feel in control. 

The "desktop" metaphor: When you turn on the Lisa sys- 
tem, the screen is empty except for the presence of several 
icons. The Lisa computer depends on the metaphor that 
the video display is a desktop, while the icons are objects 
on the desktop. Each peripheral connected to the Lisa 
(floppy and hard disks, printers, and other peripherals 
connected by interface cards) is represented on the desktop 
by either an icon (if it is not in use) or a rectangular area 
called a window (if it is available for use). The Lisa 
computer normally replaces the conventional file directory 
with a collection of objects displayed in the window of the 
associated mass-storage device. Each file is represented by 
an object of some sort — usually a report, a tool, or a 
document — and objects can be grouped together in 
folders, which are also treated as objects. (Actually, the 



36 February 1983 © BYTE Publication! Inc 



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computer can give you a conventional directory on 
request, but only traditional computer users will ask for 
this option.) 

An example of the Lisa file system will illustrate how 
useful this metaphor is. From a cleaned-up desktop with 
nothing but icons on the right of the screen, I use the 
mouse to point to the Profile (hard disk) icon and click the 
mouse button twice; this has the effect of "opening" the 
Profile and displaying its contents. The Profile icon 
changes to a white silhouette and its original black-on- 
white shape expands to a window named "Profile." ( Photo 
4a was taken after three items — shown as black icons — 
had been selected for manipulation. When the Profile icon 
is first opened, all of the icons inside it are white — that is, 
unselected.) 

To view and then work with the contents of the Tools 
folder, I put the cursor on the folder and click the mouse 
button twice. The icon expands, leaving a gray silhouette 
and a window named "Tools," as shown in photo 4b. The 
window is just that — a window into whatever the Tools 
folder contains. The symbols on the margin of each 
window are points from which the cursor can direct 
several operations on the window. For example, when 
the cursor points to the small folder icon in the upper left- 
hand corner of the Tools window and the mouse button 
is clicked twice, the folder "closes" and the video display 
reverts to the image it had before the folder was opened. 

If the Tools folder contains more than the window can 
show, you can do one of two things to see the additional 
contents. First, you can scroll the window either 
horizontally or vertically. Second, you can put the cursor 
on the expand/contract icon (in the lower right-hand 
corner of the window), hold down the mouse button, and 
move the cursor. An outline of the window follows the 
cursor (photo 4c); when the mouse button is released, the 
window grows to its new size (photo 4d). 

Once you've been shown the mechanics of manipulating 
objects and windows, you have a working knowledge of 



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Photo 4a-d: File management on the Lisa system. Files, collec- 
tions of files, and peripherals appear as pictures or icons (4a). 
When you open the Tools icon, its contents appear in a separate 
window (4b). The user can dynamically manipulate the window 
in several ways; in photo 4b-d, the window is enlarged. 



February 19U3 © BYTE Publications Inc 37 




Photo 5a-d: Additional pop-up menus for the Lisa Draw program. 



several essential operations of the Lisa file system (called 
the "Desktop Manager"). The desktop metaphor does two 
things for you. It helps you to remember certain 
operations because they make sense in the context of the 
object-related icons. Second, it draws on your general 
knowledge of office supplies and how they are used. These 
elements help Apple achieve its objective of creating a 
system that people can learn to use some aspect of in under 
30 minutes. 

The "data-as-concrete-object" metaphor: More than 
anything else, this metaphor is the foundation of the Lisa 
computer design and its probable success. As you can see 
from the example above, the Lisa file system makes you 
feel as if you are actually moving and changing objects, 
not merely manipulating abstract data. The Lisa 
Graph /Lisa Draw example shown in photos 2a through 2j 
creates the same illusion, as do all the other Lisa 
application programs. 



The "data-as-concrete-object" metaphor depends on a 
condition most computer programs don't fulfill: that 
intuitively reasonable operations can be performed on 
objects at any time. Most computer programs have modes 
that restrict your activities at any given time; for example, 
many word-processing programs don't let you do numeric 
calculations and then incorporate them into the document 
you're writing. With the Lisa application programs, 
however, you can switch your attention from a sheet of 
Lisa Write "paper" to a sheet of Lisa Calc "paper" and back 
with no problem, just as you could if they were two sheets 
of paper on your desk. 

Because you deal with recognizable objects such as 
folders and reports, you feel secure in the knowledge that 
your data will not disappear. "After all," it seems to be 
telling you, "computer files can mysteriously disappear, 
but folders, reports, and tools do not. If a file disappears, 
there's a logical explanation — either you threw it away or 




38 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



you filed it elsewhere. In 
either case, the situation is 
still under your control." In 
other words, the "data-as- 
concrete-object" metaphor 
demystifies the computer 
by transforming data into 
physical objects that behave 
in a predictable and reason- 
able way. 

Integrated design: Not 
only is the Lisa computer 
the result of an integrated 
design, it is also the result of 
an iterated one. The Lisa 
hardware and software were 
designed only after Apple 
had identified the needs of 
its target users. Once a 
given version of the system 
was implemented, it was 

tested by the kind of people who would eventually be 
using it. The test findings dictated hardware and software 
changes, and Apple went through the design/ test/revise 
cycle several times until everybody was satisfied with the 
result. This ensures that the Lisa does not fall prey to a 
problem common to microcomputers: being technologi- 
cally sophisticated, but still hard or inconvenient to use. 

During the iterations of the design process, the Apple 
design team looked for opportunities to have separate 
Lisa programs do their tasks in the same way. It then 
incorporated these common ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 




Photo 6: A document being prepared using Lisa Write. 



time third-party software 
developers working with 
cooperation from Apple 
will create additional 
programs. At this writing, 
no price had been set for the 
programs, but Apple 
expects them to cost be- 
tween $300 and $500 each, 
a justifiable price for 
programs of this caliber. 

I don't have room here to 
describe all the features of 
each program. Instead, I 
will comment briefly on 
each one and say that, in 
general, all of them have 
more options and features 
than most people will use. 
(See photos in which pop- 
up menus are visible for an 
commands available.) One in 
the "Undo Last Change" 



operating procedures into 
the Apple user-interface 
standard and tried to apply 
them to other Lisa pro- 
grams. The result is a large 
amount of common be- 
havior and structure among 

all the Lisa programs. For example, you enlarge or move 
a window the same way whether it is a Lisa Calc window 
or a Lisa Draw window. You also open, close, copy, and 
rename objects the same way throughout the system. 

According to Apple, this attempt at standardization 
has two advantages. First, it shortens the time an average 
person takes to become comfortable with a system from a 
range of 20 to 40 hours (Apple's estimate, based on tests it 
conducted) to several hours. Second, it lets you apply 
what you learn in one program to all other programs. 
This commonality among Lisa programs is largely 
responsible for the ease with which beginners learn how 
to do something useful on the Lisa computer; it usually 
takes less than half an hour, even for people who have 
never sat in front of a computer before. 

The Lisa Application Programs 

The Lisa system will be offered with six application 
programs. Both new packages and improved versions of 
the first six programs will be offered at a later date, and in 



The "Undo Last Change" command 

allows you to undo 

the effects of the last 

command you issued. 



idea of some of the 

particular deserves mention 

command, which is available in every program. This 

wonderful command lets you undo the effects of the last 

one you issued. It's a tremendous security blanket that 

enables you to experiment and work without worrying 

about making an irrevocable mistake. 

Here are the six application programs (a telecom- 
munications program, Lisa Terminal, is covered in the 
section on "Communications and Databases."): 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Lisa Draw is easily the 

showpiece of the Lisa 
system. The example in 
photos 2b through 2j shows 
only a small part of what it 
can do. See photos 2d, 2g, 
and 5a through 5d for some 
of the pop-up menus. Lisa 
Draw enables you to draw lines, boxes, circles and 
ellipses, arcs, and polygons — all with the mouse. You can 
add text at any place in any of 11 typeface/size 
combinations. In addition, you can modify any typeface 
with any combination of underline, bold, italic, hollow, 
and shadow styles for a combination of 11 X 2 5 or 352 
distinct kinds of type. Lisa Draw has grids and rulers that 
can be displayed to help make drawings neat. Shapes can 
be selected and centered by a given horizontal or vertical 
edge. You also put Lisa Draw in an "auto-grid" mode that 
causes lines and shapes to align themselves with the grid 
you have chosen. Drawings can cover as many as 25 
pages; Lisa Draw prints them out a page at a time and 
you join the edges together to make a larger drawing — a 
convenient feature if your drawing can't fit on one page. 
This program is a joy to use. 

Lisa Write is the best "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" 
word processor I've seen. Between the keyboard and the 
mouse, you can add, change, delete, and move text, 
change its appearance, reformat it, and do just about 



February 1983 © BYTE Publication! Inc 39 




Photo 7a-c: The Lisa Project Manager program. Photo 7a 
shows a simple PERT chart with tasks on the critical path being 
heavily outlined; 7b shows a Gantt chart, which shows person- 
nel utilization; 7c shows the kind of typical error message used 
throughout the Lisa system. 



anything you'd want to in a word processor. Of course, 
you can see each page exactly as it will appear on paper 
(see photo 6). My only criticism of the program is that the 
version I saw paused a second or so between when I typed 
a phrase and when it appeared on the screen. The delay is 
due to the large amount of processing the machine has to 
do before it can display the new text (and perhaps scroll 
other text down), but the designers are aware of the 
problem and are working on minimizing the time delay in 
the final version. 

Lisa Project is used to keep track of projects and 
personnel, and it does so using PERT (Program Evalua- 
tion and Review Technique), Gantt, and task charts. 
Using the mouse and the keyboard, you can add, delete, 
move, change, and label activity boxes. Each box con- 
tains the activity name and its personnel and time 
requirements. The Lisa Project program displays the 
PERT chart (see photo 7a), drawing a heavy outline 
around the activity boxes on the critical path (a path of 
activities for which delays will lengthen the duration of 
the project). The program can also optionally use such in- 
formation as worker vacation times and the length of the 
work week to influence the final chart. You can also have 
the program show the early-start, early-finish, late-start, 
and late-finish dates associated with the PERT method. 
The Gantt chart (photo 7b) shows resource utilization 
over time, including unutilized resources (shown in 
gray). The task chart (not shown) displays tasks by their 
early-start date. 

Like the rest of the Lisa system, Lisa Project gives you 
incredibly clear error messages. For example, when you 
try to take the "end" circle off the screen, you get the 
error shown in photo 7c, which must be answered before 
you can continue. 

Lisa Calc is as sophisticated a spreadsheet program as 
any other on the market. In this instance, I don't think the 
mouse improves on cursor keys because one hand has to 
alternate between the mouse (to move the spreadsheet cur- 
sor) and the keyboard (to enter data into the spreadsheet 
cells). In any case, most people who want a Lisa computer 
are interested in the kind of structured numeric recalculation 
that spreadsheets are good at, and Lisa Calc certainly fills 
this need. Of course, data can be traded between Lisa Calc 
and other Lisa programs without restriction, which means, 
for example, that you can "paste" a section of spreadsheet 
data into a document being prepared by Lisa Write. Photos 
8a and 8b show the process of displaying the formula of 
each cell along with its value. 

Lisa List, a single-user database that permits records of 
up to 100 fields totaling 1000 bytes, probably illustrates 
best the "data-as-concrete-object" metaphor. When you 
add, change, or search for records, you work directly on 
the list visible in the window, not on an auxiliary display 
(like a data-entry screen) that limits you to working on the 
current record only. Record fields are defined as being one 
of eight data types (text, number, date, money, time, 
social-security number, phone number, or zip code), and 
Lisa List does automatic type-checking during data entry. 
Photo 9 shows an example of a Lisa List window. One 



40 February 1983 © BYTE Publication! Inc 



slight problem is that the social-security number, phone 
number, and zip code fields have fixed formats — for 
example, zip codes are limited to five digits. You must 
revert to the general-purpose text format if you want to be 
able to convert to 9-digit zip codes or use foreign telephone 
numbers. 

Lisa List has many attractive features. Of course, you 
can display or print parts of the list in many ways; you can 
sort the list in several ways or select records according to 
given criteria. You can move the cursor with either the 
mouse or the arrow keys. The contents of fields are stored 
internally in a compact form to increase the overall storage 
capacity of the program. In addition, Lisa List has two 
very useful features that every database should have: the 
ability to add fields to or change field widths in an existing 
file and the ability to put any amount of information in a 
field regardless of its stated width (field width influences 
only how much data is visible). 

Lisa Graph is an application program that creates a 
bridge between the number-oriented Lisa Calc and the 
picture-oriented Lisa Draw. Lisa Graph takes a matrix of 
numbers (entered either by the user from Lisa Graph or 
transferred from another source) and creates virtually 
instantly a bar, line, mixed bar and line, scatter (x-y plot), 
or pie chart. Photo 2a shows a typical Lisa Graph window, 
and the sequence of photos 2a through 2j shows how Lisa 
Draw can customize a drawing from Lisa Graph. 

Reliability 

Computers are worthless if nobody uses them, and the 
Lisa system has made great strides toward eliminating 
that possibility. Certainly, it has been designed to be easy 
to use. But the Lisa system will probably be used by com- 
puter novices because of its reliability, both in the 
physical and psychological sense. 

Physical reliability is the kind that makes an engineer 
feel secure. Apple lis, for instance, have a reputation for 
being very reliable, and I'm sure that the Lisa computer 
was engineered with even more care. (For example, the 
Lisa is constructed as a series of modules, any one of which 
you can pull out without tools. And despite its internal 
complexity, it was engineered to dissipate excess heat 
without a cooling fan — that's engineering!) 

I can't say how reliable the Lisa is overall because I don't 
have enough direct experience with it. But I do know that 
Apple has concentrated on improving the reliability of the 
source of a great many problems: the floppy disk. Despite 
the features of the Lisa disk drive that put it at the leading 
edge of disk technology (see the text box 'The Lisa 
Hardware" for more details), Apple claims that the 
hardware (assisted by its sophisticated disk-accessing 
software) has an error rate so low that Apple couldn't 
quantify it during tests. Apple said, however, that the 
hardware makes less than one error in one trillion (10 12 ) 
operations. 

Apple has also adopted a redundant data structure for 
information on the disk that lessens (or sometimes 
eliminates) the effect of losing a sector of information. 
This redundancy is on three levels — blocks, files, and 




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spreadsheet; 8b shows the same spreadsheet after the "Show For- 
mulas and Values" command is executed. 



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Photo 9: The Lisa List program, a single-user list-management 
program. 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 41 



The Lisa Hardware 




The Lisa keyboard. 



Reporting on the technical specifications of a computer 
toward the end of an article is unusual for BYTE, but it empha- 
sizes that the why of Lisa is more important than the what. For 
part of the market, at least, the Lisa computer will change the 
emphasis of microcomputing from "How much RAM does it 
have?" to "What can it do for me?" For example, it is almost 
misleading to say that the Lisa comes with one megabyte of 
RAM, even though the fact itself is true. That doesn't mean that 
the Lisa is sixteen times better than machines that have 64K 
bytes of RAM. Nor does it necessarily mean that the Lisa can 
work on much larger data files than other computers; its ap- 
plication programs each take 200K to 300K bytes, which 
significantly reduces the memory available for data. It's more in- 
structive to say, for example, that the Lisa with one megabyte 
can hold a 100-row by 
50-column spreadsheet (as its 
advertisements state). With 
this in mind, let's take a look 
at the Lisa. 

"Lisa" stands for Local In- 
tegrated Software Archi- 
tecture, but it's really just 
an excuse to retain Apple's 
pet name for the project. 
The Lisa has a 68000 micro- 
processor, which is a true 
16-bit microcomputer that 
has a 16-bit data bus, a 
24-bit address bus (giving 
access to 16 megabytes of 
memory), and 32-bit-wide 

registers (all but the 16-bit status register). The 68000 in the 
Lisa runs at a frequency of 5 MHz. It can have up to 1 
megabyte of memory with parity and comes standard with 
one megabyte (1024K bytes). 

The video display is a 12-inch monochrome monitor 
(black and white, not tinted) with a resolution of 720 by 364 
pixels. The interlaced image is refreshed at 60 Hz, which 
eliminates the possibility of eyestrain from subliminal flicker- 
ing. The video display is completely generated by internal 
software, so the Lisa can use multiple character sizes and 
fonts without restriction. It also means that Apple is not 
restricted to any one style of video image; the designers can 
radically change the behavior of the system with a new 
release of software. 

The Apple 871 disk drives design (called "twiggy drives" 
inside the company) are significantly different from conven- 
tional floppy-disk drives. Each one uses a 6504 micropro- 
cessor as a "smart" interface between it and the Lisa. The 
drives use special high-density, double-sided floppy disks 
that have two oval cutouts in the jacket (see photo below). 
These are essential because the two disk heads, in addition to 
being on opposite sides of the flat magnetic media, are not 
pointed at each other with the magnetic media between 
them, as is the case in all other double-sided floppy-disk 
drives. Instead, a pad presses the rotating magnetic media to 
the disk head on the opposite side of the media as is conven- 
tionally done with single-headed floppy disks. 




Each formatted disk holds 860K bytes of information at a 
density of 62.5 tracks per inch; together the two drives (stan- 
dard on the Lisa) hold 1.72 megabytes of data. Each drive 
also contains a mechanism that releases the disk for removal 
under program control, which prevents the user from remov- 
ing a floppy disk prematurely. As with other Apple prod- 
ucts, the floppy disks rotate only when the drives are reading 
or writing data, thus extending the lives of both the drives 
and the medium. 

Apple has done several things to achieve its unusually high 
data density. The designers used an encoding scheme that 
keeps a constant data density of 10,000 bits per linear inch; 
this allows the outer floppy-disk tracks, which have a larger 
circumference, to store more data than the tracks nearest the 

center of the disk. In addi- 
tion, the disk-access system 
software can move the disk 
heads in fractions of a track 
width to search for and find 
the middle of the track. 
That's an important feature 
when you're reading disks 
with small variations in 
track width. 

In addition, the Lisa 
comes with one Profile 
(Apple's 5Vt-inch Win- 
chester-type hard disk) to 
the Lisa through its parallel 
port. It adds 5 megabytes of 
magnetic storage to the 
Lisa system, and speeds up the overall operation of the 
system. Additional Profiles can be added via interface 
cards. 

The Lisa computer is never really turned off. It stores 
"system preferences" (things like speaker volume and video 
contrast) and system-configuration information inside the 
computer. Even when it is turned "off," it draws enough 
power to keep the clock/ calendar and CMOS memory con- 
taining the above information working. When it's unplugged 
(for example, when it's being moved to another location), in- 
ternal batteries preserve the clock/ calendar status an 
CMOS memory for up to 20 hours. 

The Lisa includes two programmable serial ports and or 
parallel port as well as three expansion-board slots, each of 
which connects directly to the system bus and has direct 
memory access (DMA) capabilities. Because none of these 
slots is filled in any "basic" configuration of the Lisa, they are 
available for future expansion (unlike the IBM Personal 
Computer's five slots, most or all of which are used for 
much-needed video-display and memory cards). Other fea- 
tures include a built-in speaker and a real-time clock (which 
can be programmed to execute tasks or turn the computer 
itself on or off at a given time), a microprocessor-controlled 
detachable Selectric-style keyboard, and a mouse. 

I must thank Apple for including something I've wanted to 
see for a long time: unique serial numbers encoded into 
memory. The Lisa has two of these: an actual serial number 



42 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




The Lisa floppy-disk drive, along with the special floppy 
disks it uses. 

and a 48-bit number meant to be used as a "mail address" 
identification number for a network of Lisa computers. Two 
unique identification numbers will help to prevent the unfor- 
tunate but very real problems of software piracy and the ex- 
istence of copy-protected disks that won't work for even 
their legal user. Software can be "mated" to the serial number 
of a given machine so that it 
can be backed up endlessly 
but will not run on another 
Lisa computer. True, a per- 
sistent few will outwit even 
this scheme, but it will prac- 
tically eliminate a manufac- 
turer's sales losses from 
copied software. 

An interesting aspect of 
the Lisa is that it abandons hardware graphics chips like the 
NEC 7220 for system software that requires the 68000 micro- 
processor to generate and maintain the video image. At first, 
I questioned the wisdom of this decision because it makes the 
68000 assume a heavy computational burden that could be 
transferred from software to hardware. But according to the 
designers, the use of a dedicated hardware graphics chip 
would itself limit and slow down the system (for a discussion 
of this, see the interview on page 90). In particular, the 
68000 clock was set at 5 MHz instead of the usual 8 MHz to 
give the hardware just enough time to access the 32K bytes of 
screen memory during the machine cycles in which the 68000 
is not using the address lines. This gives the Lisa access to the 
video memory that is transparent to the 68000 (hardware 



Ease of use is the first thing that 
a novice Lisa user experiences. 

A reproduction (at 80 percent) of printing from the Apple 
Dot Matrix Printer. 



Inside the Lisa computer. Note the three connectors for ex- 
pansion boards. 

graphics chips severely limit access to the video memory) and 
results in a static-free image. (Much of the static or "hashing" 
in graphic video images results from the system accessing the 
video memory while the circuitry is using it to generate the 
video image.) 
Apple will also be offering the Apple Dot Matrix Printer 

and the Apple Letter 
Quality Printer. Apple's 
engineers tested many exist- 
ing printers, chose two 
(from C. Itoh and Qume, 
respectively) that best met 
their needs, then had the 
companies produce modi- 
fied versions with Apple- 
specified hardware and soft- 
ware changes. Apple needed such exacting print quality 
because the Lisa software is very demanding of both printers. 
For example, both printers will reproduce almost exactly 
both the text and graphics that can be displayed on the Lisa 
screen. In addition, Apple has created special print wheels 
for its Letter Quality Printer so that you can print normal, 
italic, underlined, and bold characters without changing 
print wheels (quite a nice move — who's going to change print 
wheels several times a page just to get true italics?). The 
amazing thing about the Apple Dot Matrix Printer is that 
Apple plans to sell it for around $700 (the Letter Quality 
Printer will sell for about $2100). Unfortunately for Apple II 
and III owners, these printers' tricks are done entirely in soft- 
ware on the Lisa and won't transfer to other Apple computers. 



disks — and a given level in error is correctable by data in 
the next lower level. On the block level, each 512-byte 
block of data has a 24-byte area of hint bytes. These 
identify the file to which the block belongs and its block 
number within the file. On the file level, each file 
contains a header that duplicates information in the disk 
catalog. On the disk level, each floppy disk keeps a file of 
information about the status of each file on the disk. The 
Lisa system software automatically tries to reconstruct 



information that is lost, so it recovers from errors that 
would halt other computers. 

Psychological reliability is the kind that makes an office 
worker secure. The Lisa floppy-disk drive is unique in this 
respect. On the Lisa computer, you can't yank your floppy 
disk out any time you want to (if you could, you might, 
for example, remove the disk before files on it are 
updated). Instead, you press the Disk Request button 
beside the disk-drive slot. The software in the Lisa com- 



Febniary 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 43 



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puter checks your work space, closes any files belonging to 
that disk (thus updating the file), then ejects the floppy 
disk so you can remove it. 

A similar thing happens when you turn the Lisa "off" 
(actually, it's never completely off; it just goes into a low- 
power mode). In any case, when you hit the Off button, 
system software automatically closes all open files, thus 
transferring the information in them to their respective 
floppy disks, and releases the disks from the Lisa disk 
drives. In addition, the software records the status of the 
"desktop" so that, when the computer is reactivated, Lisa 
automatically returns it to the appearance and state it was 
in when the Lisa was turned "off." Although those who 
have worked with computers before will find these 
features hard to get used to, most newcomers will be 
reassured by them. 

The design of the Lisa application programs (which are 
the only things most Lisa users will see) is another example 
of psychological reliability. Many people have vague fears 
of computer programs because they think they'll do 
something wrong and cause a catastrophe that will make 
them look foolish. This won't happen with the Lisa system 
for two reasons. First, the Lisa software is designed to be 
very understandable. The metaphors make people com- 
fortable with the manipulation of data, error messages are 
both clear and complete and tell you what alternatives you 
have, and, in general, the programs let you know where 
you stand and the consequences of a given action. Second, 
the Lisa computer has the "Undo Last Change" command 
mentioned earlier. With this command, even the most 
uncertain users will not hesitate to act in a way they think 
is appropriate. The way Lisa programs work, the user 
probably is right, and if he isn't, he knows he can undo 
whatever happens. People who won't trust most computer 
programs will trust Lisa programs. 



Communications and Databases 

As the engineer I talked to pointed out, no computer i 
going to be the most important piece of equipment in an 
office unless it can easily interact with other computers. 
This need has been integrated into the design of the Lisa 
system in several ways. 

First, a communications program called Lisa Terminal 
allows the Lisa computer to emulate several popular 
terminals (Digital Equipment Corporation's VT52 ani 
VT100 terminals and Teletype Corporation's ASR-33) 
The Lisa Terminal program includes all the options that a 
given terminal allows, even down to simulated status 
lights. A future Apple terminal program will enable the 
Lisa to emulate the IBM 3270 family of terminals. 

Second, Lisa computers can be connected together via a 
new local network called Apple Net, which Apple hopes to 
promote as an industry standard because it feels that other 
networks have major cost or performance problems. Ac- 
cording to Apple, Apple Net meets four criteria that it 
thinks are important: it can be easily installed by the user, 
it is highly reliable, it is easily extendable to include more 
nodes or to interface with other networks (like Ethernet 
and other Apple Net networks), and it has a low per-node 



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(under $500) cost. A-Net has a bandwidth of 1 megabit per 
second, can have up to 128 nodes, uses a shielded two- 
conductor wire for interconnecting nodes, and can have a 
maximum node-to-node distance of 2200 feet. Apple Net 
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sions (CSMA/CD — carrier-sense, multiple access with col- 
lision detection) and is compatible with the Ethernet on the 
top five of the seven levels of communication protocol. For 
those who want it, though, Apple will also make Ethernet 
interfaces available at a cost of about $1500 per node. 

Third, Apple has distant plans to make it possible for 
Lisa computers to talk to non-Lisa computers and to 
shared or remote databases. Although the people at Apple 
did not discuss specific products, they told me enough to 
assure me that they are planning extensions in this 
direction that will make it even more useful. 

When these items are available for the Lisa, Apple will 
have overcome a very big problem: really integrating the 
computer into the full office environment. That usually 
includes both local and remote computers. Whatever the 
needs of a given office, the above products ensure that the 
Lisa computer will be as useful as any other "office 
automation" product available from other companies. 

Service 

The people I talked to at Apple made it clear that, with 
regard to Lisa, they were going to offer better service op- 
tions than any other computer company, including IBM, 



DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), and Wang. A 
diagnostic program called Lisa Test (supplied with the 
Lisa) enable it to isolate the computer failure to a single 
board or component; in the case of severe problems 
(when the disk drives aren't working, for example), a 
built-in test program that runs whenever the Lisa is 
turned on will diagnose and report on the problem. As 1 
mentioned before, the Lisa is designed so that you can 
take it apart without tools (a detailed manual explains 
how). 

Apple offers several service options. If you have on- 
site service (available through a joint agreement with 
RCA), you simply call Apple and let a service person fix 
the problem. For large-quantity customers, Apple can 
provide training to teach employees how to do in-house 
repairs. For individuals, Apple Care Carry-In Service is 
available. 

In addition, Apple is planning what it calls Direct 
Phone Support. For a yearly fee, the user will have access 
to a toll-free number that is answered by a highly trained 
support person. Apple has high standards for this service, 
and I'm sure that, once the service has started and is 
running smoothly, Apple will deliver what it promises. 
The company expects its representatives to answer 90 
percent of the calls received; people whose problems 
cannot be answered immediately will be called back 
when the answer is found. If equipment needs to be 
repaired, the Direct Phone Support person will call the 



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800-343-4600 for the name of 
your nearest supplier. 

Circle 44 on Inquiry card. 



Enter tomorrow on 

• Contact BASF for warranty details. 9 1982, BASF Systems Corporation, Bedford, MA 



BASF TODAY 



| | :'.V.J 



— — — 



appropriate repair people and dispatch working modules, 
so that one call will usually solve the problem. Different 
support-option plans available will range from 9 a.m. to 
5 p.m. weekday service to 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week 
call-in support. Apple also plans to provide software 
revisions and support through this option, although 
details had not been decided on at this writing. 

Documentation and Training 

I have seen only drafts of miscellaneous pieces of Lisa 
documentation, but they indicate that the final documen- 
tation will be superb. Apple plans to provide the Lisa 
Guide, an interactive teaching program about the Lisa 
system, and reference books for each application 
package; each reference book will begin with a short 
tutorial section that will get users doing useful tasks in 
under half an hour. Other documentation may be in- 
cluded, but the information was not available at the time 
we went to press. 

Even though the Lisa is meant to be a very easy prod- 
uct to use, Apple will provide training to make sure that 
people learn how to use it. As one Apple spokesperson 
put it, "Training is part of the Lisa product." Apple will 
offer extensive training to all Apple dealers and to 
selected groups from companies that make large-volume 
Lisa purchases. Apple will also make training kits avail- 
able to multiple-unit purchasers to help them train their 



77-7 

THE TEACHER PC 

For Your BASIC Viewing 

The complete teaching package for 
your use of the IBM Personal Computer. 




• Lessons in BASIC 

• Lessons in Data Processing 

• IBM Manuals Guide 

• "Computer Lingo" exposed 

• Hardware "HOW TO" 

• Home Study Guide 

• Office Reference Manual 
... and Much More 




MICRO COMPUTER DIVISION 

55722 Santa Fe Trail 

Yucca Valley, CA 92284 

(619) 365-9718 



employees. Individual Apple dealers may offer additional 
special training. 

Future Plans 

In the microcomputer industry, products are generally 
announced early (sometimes before they are designed) and 
released in preliminary versions before all the features 
have been integrated into them. Apple is to be commended 
for resisting this practice. In fact, the company seems to 
have released a more complete first version of the Lisa than 
most companies do with their products; the first Lisa sold 
will be a fine machine. 

However, the ambitious and talented people who de- 
signed and implemented the Lisa computer have already 
envisioned and planned for quite a bit more than they can 
implement by release date. I'm sure they have some ideas 
they don't want to publicize (and rightly so), but here are 
some things they were willing to talk about: 

•By 1984, Apple plans to replace its 512K-byte memory 
card (two of which can be fitted into the Lisa computer) 
with 1-megabyte cards, thus increasing the memory capa- 
city from 1 to 2 megabytes. 



As for languages, Apple plans to 
introduce versions of BASIC Pascal, 

COBOL, and even the language/ 
operating system Smalltalk as soon 
as possible, and others will follow. 



•As soon as possible, Apple plans to introduce versions of 
BASIC, Pascal, and COBOL for the Lisa. The BASIC will 
be compatible with Digital Equipment Corporation's 
BASIC Plus (unlike IBM Personal Computer BASIC, it 
will be able to use the extra memory above the first 64K 
bytes). The first releases of these languages will be "plain 
vanilla" versions that don't interact with the computer's 
special features (e.g., mouse control of the cursor, 
windows, the "desktop" metaphor), but later versions will 
probably integrate these languages into the Lisa system. 
•Another language that will be available for the Lisa 
computer is Smalltalk. I was pleased to see Smalltalk 
working on a Lisa computer — a year and a half has passed 
since our special Smalltalk issue in August 1981, and no 
commercially available computer to date has used it 
Smalltalk on the Lisa computer will change that. It is 
very "possessive" language that directly controls the 
machine it is implemented on, so it will probably never be 
integrated into the Lisa environment — but then, it doesn't 
need to be. 

•Smalltalk is just one example of a language /operating 
system that can occupy the Lisa machine. The Lisa will 
also support Digital Research's CP/M family of operating 
systems and Microsoft's Xenix (a licensed version of Unix 
that includes business-related extensions). Outside 
developers will be encouraged to carry operating systems 



48 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 242 on inquiry card. 












CP/M GRAPHICS 



\bur ticket to success. 

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CP/M and GSX are the keys to your graphic future. 
GSX is a logical extension of CP/M which many 
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I/O. Computers with GSX allow your programs to 
take advantage of integrated graphic displays and 
peripherals like plotters, printers and CRT terminals. 
Together, CP/M and GSX deliver the same vital 
portability for your programs and data that has made 
CP/M the most accepted operating system in 
microcomputer history. 

We also supply GSS-KERNEL™ a library of 
graphic commands for drawing lines, polygons, and 
text according to the emerging ISO standard: GKS 
(Graphical Kernel System). We also offer GSS-PLOT,™ 
a library designed to let you create bar graphs, pie 
charts, histograms, and scatter plots. Both of these 



libraries can be linked with CBASIC* Compiler, 
Pascal/MT +™ PL/I and FORTRAN on 8- and 
16-bit systems. When you put it all together, the 
Digital Research graphics family is the most complete 
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of graphic-oriented applications. Whether you're an 
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across — one such possibility is Softech Microsystems' 
UCSD p-system. 

•Apple will be making enhancements to the existing Lisa 
application programs. On first release, the only limita- 
tion in sharing data among Lisa application programs is 
that you won't be able to "paste" graphic images into a 
Lisa Word text document (you can, however, add text to 
a Lisa Draw drawing). Bruce Daniels, one of the Lisa de- 
signers, told me that the design allows for adding graph- 
ics to a text document but that they simply can't imple- 
ment the feature in time for the first software release. It 
will be added by the next release. 

•Apple is very conscious of the fact that the success of the 
Lisa will be heavily influenced by the availability of good 
third-party software. To encourage such software, the 
company will make available a "programmer's toolkit" 
package of software and documentation sometime this 
year. This toolkit will give third-party programmers all 
the information they need to build on the considerable 
utility software (window-control, disk-accessing, 
intelligent graphic-redrawng, and memory-management 
routines, for example) already available in the Lisa 
operating system. (The operating system itself is about 
half a megabyte of code, though only 200K to 300K bytes 
of it are resident in memory at the same time.) In addi- 
tion, the toolkit will list the user-interface conventions 
that were used to create the existing six application pack- 
ages and will strongly suggest that third-party software 



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will be better received (by both Apple and the consumer) 
if it follows these conventions. The Apple-generated ap- 
plication programs are so wonderful that most program- 
mers will consider it an achievement to create similar 
software. 

Caveats 

I wrote this article after working with a Lisa computer 
for several hours and studying various Lisa documents. 
The application packages were completely functional, but 
I was told changes were still being made to them. The re- 
leased versions of software may be faster because debug- 
ging aids were probably slowing down the version I saw. 

Performance 

The Apple Lisa was faster than I remembered a similar 
machine being (an experimental Xerox machine running 
Smalltalk) and faster than I expected it to be. Granted, a 
68000 microprocessor is in the computer, but it was being 
asked to do a lot — including the manipulation of 32K bytes 
of video-display memory. Objectively, I must report some 
delays (30 seconds, maybe) when loading in files, but these 
were shorter than what I usually encounter using CP/M- 
based business programs. In any case, I didn't notice any 
delays while actually using a given program, which is 
where you spend most of your time, anyway. I expect that 
the Lisa computer you'll see in Apple showrooms will be 
slightly faster than the one I saw. 

Conclusions 

As you can tell, I am very impressed with the Lisa. I 
also admire Apple for deciding to make the system with- 
out being unduly influenced by cost or marketing con- 
straints. The Lisa couldn't have been developed without 
such a deep commitment, and no other company I can 
think of could afford such a project or would be inter- 
ested in doing it this way (the Lisa project reportedly cost 
over $50 million and used more than 200 person-years of 
effort!). In terms of the actual, as opposed to symbolic, 
effect it will have on both the microcomputer and the 
larger-computer market, the Lisa system is the most im- 
portant development in computers in the last five years, 
easily outplacing IBM's introduction of the Personal 
Computer in August, 1981. 

As this went to press, Apple announced that the Lisa 
will be sold in one configuration only: the computer with 
1 megabyte of RAM, two floppy-disk drives, the Profile 
hard disk, the six application programs (Lisa Draw, Lisa 
Write, Lisa Project, Lisa Calc, Lisa List, and Lisa Graph), 
and Lisa Test diagnostic program; the price of this 
package is $9995; it will be available in the U.S. this 
spring, and modified foreign-language versions will be 
available this summer. 

Fortunately for us, the history of computing does not 
stop with the Lisa. Technology, while expensive to create, 
is much cheaper to distribute. Apple knows this machine is 
expensive and is also not unaware that most people would 
be incredibly interested in a similar but less expensive 
machine. Well see what happens. ■ 



50 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 188 on inquiry card. 



? 



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Here's The Board YouVe 
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A Hard Disc 
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A colorful addition to Teletek's 
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A Z-80A CPU providing intelligent 
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Teletek's HD/CTC 



• Support of 5V4" rigid-disk drives 
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(Interface to disk drive is defined by 
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• Controller communications with the 
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2 megabytes per second for a data 
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does not constrain the host proces- 
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• Two 28-pin sockets allowing the 
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• Individual software reset capability. 

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Ciarcia's Circuit Cellar 



Build a Handheld LCD Terminal 



A single-line display is quite adequate 
for many troubleshooting and monitoring applications. 



The Circuit Cellar was a lonely 
place after the tumult of finishing up 
the complicated and seemingly end- 
less MPX-16 project, which had occu- 
pied almost my every waking mo- 
ment for months. I was dreading a 
call from my editor at BYTE, who 
was sure to ask what my next project 
would be. For once, I was stuck with- 
out an idea. 

As the wind whistled outside, I 
decided to check how hard it was 
blowing. I turned on the radio, ex- 
pecting to hear a synthesized com- 
puter voice describing the current 
weather conditions, but got only 
static. I groaned as I realized that 
something must be wrong with my 
automatic talking weather station. 

The talking weather station was 
my project exactly a year ago (see 
reference 1). It combined a single- 
board Zilog-Z8-based computer with 
various weather instruments and a 
speech synthesizer in a machine that 
could transmit weather information 
in the form of English speech using a 
low-power FM radio transmitter. It 
worked flawlessly through its first 
New England winter, chattering 
ceaselessly for many months. I've 



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



ZS is a trademark of Zilog Inc. 



Steve Ciarcia 

POB 582 

Glastonbury, CT 06033 



used it to collect reams of data con- 
cerning average wind speeds and 
temperatures on my little hill here in 
the wilds of Connecticut. 

The computerized weather station 
is only about 50 feet from the Circuit 
Cellar, but it might as well have been 
10 miles. I didn't know if the problem 
was in the transmitter, the weather 
instruments, or the computer. To 
troubleshoot it, I had to drag about 
half of my test equipment out under 
the station's lofty perch, find plugs 
for everything, and balance a Tele- 
video 925 video terminal on the 
fender of my truck. 

But matters turned out to be not so 
bad as I had feared. Once the equip- 
ment was set up, I had little trouble; it 
took only a single line of output 
displayed on the terminal to diagnose 
the problem, which was easily 
remedied. And as I carried the equip- 
ment back to its home, I realized that 
I had an article idea. 

Analyzing the Problem 

Not all computer troubles are so 
simple that they can be diagnosed by 
one line of display, but many are. I 
had found it necessary to drag out an 
AC-powered 24-line by 80-column 
terminal to observe just the one line. 
But wouldn't it have been nice to 
have a portable one-line terminal for 
such simple situations? I could have 
saved the heavy stuff for applications 






requiring a more complex display. 

The Z8- (actually Z8671-) based 
brain of my weather station, if you 
will recall, is the Z8-BASIC Micro- 
computer (a device sometimes called 
the Z8-BASIC Computer/Controller 
or simply the Z8 board), presented in 
the July and August 1981 Circuit 
Cellar articles (see reference 3). Since 
that time, many of you have built Z8 
boards (mostly by using the kit 
available from The Micromint) and 
reported to me on how you are using 
them. The feedback I get is that many 
Z8-BASIC Microcomputers are being 
used in dedicated control or data- 
reduction applications in which a ter- 
minal is often not required, or if one 
is attached to the system, it only 
monitors the system's functions, per- 
haps displaying error codes or com- 
puted results. 

A Portable Terminal 

Why not small displays for small 
computers? For many years, ex- 
perimenters had only 6-digit LED 
(light-emitting diode) hexadecimal 
displays. Is there nothing between 
this and a full 24 by 80 terminal? 

This month I'd like to present a 
relatively simple project that might 
serve to fill the gap between little 
hexadecimal displays and full- 
function terminals. The Circuit Cellar 
Handheld LCD Terminal consists of a 
single-line 16-character liquid-crystal 



54 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 1: The Circuit Cellar Handheld LCD Terminal installed on a Z8-BASIC 
Microcomputer system. 



display (LCD) with additional com- 
ponents added to form a full-duplex 
serially interfaced computer terminal 
suitable for attachment to any small 
control computer. The CY300 LCD- 
controller integrated circuit from 
Cybernetic Micro Systems encapsules 
the entire display circuitry in a single 
chip and requires only 15 mA (milli- 
amps) at 5 V (volts). Two additional 
chips are required to convert TTL 
(transistor-transistor logic) voltage 
levels to RS-232C voltage levels. 

The display can be configured for 
serial or parallel input, and by at- 
taching a parallel ASCII (American 
National Standard Code for Informa- 
tion Interchange) keyboard, you can 
configure a complete terminal for the 
Z8-BASIC Microcomputer (or some 
other small computer). The unit (ex- 
cluding the keyboard) measures 3*/2 
by lVz by IVi inches. 

I'd like to start by discussing the 
CY300's general features, and then we 
can look at a description of a terminal 
built using the CY300. 



Cybernetic Micro Systems CY300 

The CY300 Dot-Matrix LCD Con- 
troller is designed to provide an easy- 
to-use peripheral device that displays 
ASCII characters and allows cursor 
editing operations. The CY300 pro- 
vides several modes of operation to 
provide various levels of display 
capability. Its pinout specifications 
are shown in figure la on page 56. 

The CY300 is a TTL-compatible 
CMOS (complementary metal-oxide 
semiconductor) 40-pin device con- 
figured to control 16-character 
alphanumeric dot-matrix liquid- 
crystal displays that use the Toshiba 
T3891 LCD-driver chip, as shown in 
the block diagram of figure lc on 
page 56. The CY300 accepts parallel 
and serial data inputs and can 
generate 64 different ASCII 
characters, as shown in figure 2 on 
page 57. 

A blinking-block cursor normally 
indicates the position in the display 
where a character will next appear, 
but the cursor can be moved to 



highlight a particular character. The 
CY300 displays the characters it 
receives, storing them in a buffer until 
it gets a Return character. It then out- 
puts the contents of the buffer on a 
serial channel. The CY300 is designed 
to drive a console display for small 
microcomputers, and as I have sug- 
gested, such a display can be used to 
replace a CRT (cathode-ray tube) ter- 
minal in many systems. 

The CY300 contains the circuitry to 
perform several different functions. 
Two types of input interfaces are 
offered. The first is a parallel input 
port. You can connect a keyboard to 
this, which will enable you to enter 
commands or messages to the display 
and make typing corrections before 
sending the text out to the host com- 
puter. In simple display-only applica- 
tions, the parallel input can be used to 
generate display messages. 

The second interface is a serial data 
link, consisting of two lines, a serial 
input and a serial output. Generally, 
the host computer would be con- 
nected to these lines, with the serial 
output used to send short strings of 
characters (entered from the parallel 
keyboard input) to the computer, and 
the serial input used to receive 
messages or responses from the com- 
puter. The serial interface operates at 
5-V logic levels only, so connection to 
an RS-232C port requires the use of 
external driver and receiver circuits to 
translate the voltage levels. 

The CY300 also contains an inter- 
nal 32-character line buffer for stor- 
ing the messages shown on the dis- 
play and control logic for generating 
the proper dot patterns for the dis- 
played characters. 

Parallel Input Operation 

The CY300 can display data from 
either its parallel or serial input. The 
general scheme for parallel interfac- 
ing of the CY300 is shown in figure 3. 

In parallel input, the circuitry send- 
ing the data simply places logic states 
representing the bits of an ASCII 
character on the 7 lines of the input 
bus, waits until the Ready line is high, 
and then lowers the WR (write) 
strobe line. As the WR strobe is held 
low, the Ready line goes low (indicat- 
ing a busy state) and then returns to 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 55 



(la) 



PIN CONFIGURATION 



(lb) 



LOGIC DIAGRAM 



WR [ 



CRYSTAL 



RESET 
UNUSED 
SERIAL IN 
GND/£~" 4 



INSTROBE 
UNUSED 
UNUSED 

CLOCK/15 



DB C 
DBi 



DB- 



DB 3 
DB 4 

DB 5 
DB 6 
RESERVED 
SND/^T" L[ 



"W 



CY300 



5 BY 7 DOT- 
MATRIX LCD 
CONSOLE 
CONTROLLER 




CHARACTER 
> ADDRESS 
FROM LCD 



PARALLEL 
WRITE 



READY 



SERIAL 
IN 



SERIAL , 
OUT 



DATA 
RATE 



DA 
B 



us ty 



CY300 



ROW/CHAR 
SYNC 

TIMING AND 
CONTROL 



CURSOR 
CONTROL 



Li 



D 



a 
a 



ROW DATA 
TO LCD 



ROW ADDRESS 
FROM LCD 



CHARACTER 
ADDRESS 
FROM LCD 



SYNC 



WAIT 



(lc) 





WRITE 




CY300 

LCD 

CONSOLE 

CONTROLLER 












ROW DATA ) 






READY 












V 




:":'":!•:! D ! iTCp : ":" "i !=. I C : ':l )"." 
















( ROW ADDRESS 






z 


ASCII DATA BUS 
DATA RATE 


-} 


16-CHARACTER 5 BY 7 DOT-MATRIX 
LCD DISPLAY 






( CHAR. ADDRESS 




SERIAL INPUT 








SERIAL OUT 


SYNC 




AND MODEL 1811 OR 
EPSON MODEL MA-B955B 

















Figure 1: Descriptive information on the Cybernetic Micro Systems CY300 LCD Console Controller. Figure la shows the pinout 
specification of the CY300, lb is a functional logic diagram of the CY300, and lc shows a block diagram of a display system using the 
CY300. 



the high state. When the Ready line is 
high again, the CY300 is prepared to 
receive the next character by repeat- 
ing the process. 

In manual-input mode, the blink- 
ing cursor indicates the location of 
the next character to be entered. A 
character can be erased by using the 
ASCII Rubout code (hexadecimal 7F), 
which causes the cursor to move left 
one space; an ASCII space (hexa- 
decimal 20) is then written into the 
new cursor location. 



The cursor can be moved left one 
position using the cursor-control 
character Control-A (hexadecimal 01) 
and can be moved right one position 
with Control-B (hexadecimal 02). 
These control characters do not delete 
any displayed characters but may 
place the cursor over a character 
already entered. The cursor always 
indicates the location where the next 
character entered will be displayed. 
Thus if the cursor is over a character 
that has already been entered, the 



next input character will overwrite 
the existing one, and the cursor will 
move one position to the right. 

Serial Input Operation 

The CY300 can accept data from a 
serial source as well; the setup is 
shown in the block diagram of figure 
4. Unlike the parallel mode, in which 
the sending circuit waits for a Ready 
signal, the serial input mode is asyn- 
chronous. The normal RS-232C 8-data- 
bit format is used for both serial input 



56 February 19»3 © BYTE Publications Inc 





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Figure 2: Dot-matrix character set produced by a liquid-crystal display driven by the CY300. 



RDY 




WRITE » 



READY- 



HANDSHAKE FOR 
PARALLEL INPUT 
FROM KEYBOARD 
OR COMPUTER 



DATA BUS 







CY300 



DOT-MATRIX 

LCD 

CONTROLLER 



ROW DATA 







ROW ADDRESS 



CHAR. ADDRESS 



SYNC 



16-CHARACTER 5 BY 7 DOT-MATRIX 
LCD DISPLAY 



AND MODEL 1811 OR 
EPSON MODEL MA-B955B 



Figure 3: Block diagram of a parallel interfacing and timing requirements for the CY300. 



S bO bl b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 ft 



RS-232C- 



MC 1489 

LEVEL 

CONVERTER 



SERIAL INPUT 



(±12V) — (0-5V) 



+ 5V 

t 

1200 * 

600 — 

30 U 



RATE 



CY300 



DOT- MATRIX 

LCD 

CONTROLLER 



c 



ROW DATA 







ROW ADDRESS 



Ge 



AR. ADDRESS 



16-CHARACTER 5 BY 7 DOT-MATRIX 
LCD DISPLAY 



AND MODEL 1811 OR 
EPSON MODEL MA-B955B 



Figure 4: Block diagram of a typical serial-input arrangement used by the CY300. 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 57 



and output: that is, a low-going start 
bit, followed by 8 data bits (least sig- 
nificant first, most significant last) 
and at least lVi stop bits (IV2 bit 
periods in the high state). After the 
stop bits have been sent, the CY300 is 
ready to receive the start bit for the 
next transmitted character. 

The serial communication protocol 
of the CY300 is compatible with the 
RS-232C character format. However, 
the transistor-transistor logic of the 
CY300 operates between and 5 volts 
(allowing the CY300 to be powered 
by a single +5-V supply), and RS- 
232C interfaces normally operate at 
± 12 V, so the serial input and output 
lines are typically routed through 
voltage-level translators if the CY300 
is to be connected over any signifi- 
cant distance to an RS-232C port. 
However, in the case where the 
CY300 and host computer are physi- 
cally adjacent, they can be con- 
nected directly together, operating at 
5-V logic levels, without the trans- 
lator circuits between them. 

Other voltage protocols, such as 



RS-422A and RS-423A, also can be 
used for serial communication. These 
require different driving circuits, but 
the logical format of the characters is 
the same for all the common serial 
protocols, so we need only supply the 
appropriate driver and receiver cir- 
cuits for the interface in use. For an 
RS-232C interface, the MC1488 
driver chip and MC1489 receiver chip 
are the most popular. The CY300 
serial output line would be connected 
to the 1488, while the 1489 would be 
connected to the serial input line. 

The CY300 gives us a choice of 
three different data rates for the 
transmission of characters over the 
serial link. This choice is controlled 
by the Data-Rate-Select line, pin 28. 
If the line is connected to + 5 V, 1200 
bps (bits per second) is selected (the 
line should be connected directly to 
the power supply without a pull-up 
resistor; otherwise, the CY300 may 
choose the wrong rate). If the line is 
left unconnected to anything, 600 bps 
is selected. If the line is connected to 
ground, 300 bps is selected. These 



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•Wordstar is a Trademark of MicroPro International 



data-rate selections assume the use of 
a 6-MHz (megahertz) crystal. 

Display Driver Interface 

The 16-character display module I 
chose for this project is not just a bare 
LCD but includes its own controller/ 
driver circuitry. The CY300 is speci- 
fically designed to work with 16-char- 
acter LCDs driven by the Toshiba 
T3891 LCD-driver chip or its equiva- 
lent. Examples of such displays are 
the AND Model 1811 and the Epson 
MA-B955B. 

Electronically, the 16-character 5- 
by 7-dot-matrix display appears to 
the interface circuitry as 16 sets of 7 
rows (each row containing 5 data 
bits, 1 bit for each dot). The T3891 is 
designed to coordinate the reception 
of this row data with the information 
source and drive a dot-matrix LCD. 
Thirteen signals passing between the 
CY300 and the T3891 accomplish 
this. They are: 

Sync: synchronizes dot pattern be- 
tween T3891 and CY300 

ADx lines: 4-bit character-position 
address from T3891 

Sx lines: 3-bit row-position address 
from T3891 

Dx lines: 5-bit row data from 
CY300 to T3891 

The dot-pattern control logic is 
synchronized to the display's clock 
signal using the Sync line, which in- 
dicates when the display is ready for 
the next dot pattern. The CY300 uses 
the row- and character- (column) ad- 
dress information from the display to 
generate the proper dot pattern, 
based on its internal character 
generator and the contents of the line 
buffer. 

When the T3891 begins its display 
sequence, it merely sets a character 
and row address of the specific dis- 
play point. The CY300 examines its 
display buffer and simply outputs the 
5 data bits that should go in that ad- 
dressed location. Using the T3891 
greatly simplifies the LCD interface. 

Circuit Cellar Handheld Terminal 

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of 
the Circuit Cellar CY300-based ter- 
minal (shown in photo 2 on page 62). 



58 February 1983 © BYTE Publicationt Inc 



Circle 312 on Inquiry card. 



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Camarlllo, CA 93010 



RS-232C 
I 




PARALLEL 
KEYBOARD INPUT 

"1 













. ! 




. 5 


ICL7660 y + 

V ° UT GND 
CAP+ CAP- 




3 






SUPPLY 


+ 




A, 




ii<V 


tF 


2 


4 








Kin, 


F 



6 MHz 
CRYSTAL 



/77 



Figure 5: Schematic diagram of a single-line LCD computer terminal built around the CY300 and the AND 1811 display module. This 
style of RS-232C driver circuit was designed to use minimal +5-V power, so it's not guaranteed to work through a long cable to the 
host computer. 



With minor exceptions, it is config- 
ured much like the examples shown in 
the block diagrams presented earlier. 
It can function as a serially interfaced 
display or, if equipped with a parallel 
keyboard, as a full-duplex ASCII ter- 
minal. 

In assembling my prototype, I used 
an AND 1811 display and mounted 
all the rest of the components behind 
it (as shown in photo 2b). This 
specific form of prototype construc- 
tion was employed so that the fin- 
ished display could be plugged direct- 
ly into the RS-232C DB-25 connector 
on top of a Z8-BASIC Microcom- 
puter. 

Normally, when I am connecting a 
TTL-level device to an RS-232C port, 
I would install level-converters such 
as the MC1488 driver and MC1489 
receiver in between. The dual- 
polarity ( ± 12 V) power required for 



the driver could be derived from the 
Z8 board's power supply. However, 
the useful portability of the terminal 
would be suspect if it required you to 
either drag along an extension cord 
for AC power to a separate power 
supply or hook up three separate bat- 
tery cells. 

I pondered this impasse briefly 
and then decided to take advantage of 
a little-known part of the RS-232C 
signal specification. 

RS-232C signals have two defined 
states: marking and spacing. The 
marking state extends from —3 V to 
— 15 V, and the spacing state extends 
from +3 V to +15 V. The transition 
region between is undefined. (See Ian 
Witten's article "Welcome to the 
Standards Jungle" on page 146 for 
more information on RS-232C's idio- 
syncrasies.) 

Note that the defined regions of 



marking and spacing fall within the 
5-V range that TTL parts can gener- 
ate. Especially for short cable lengths 
and at low data rates, RS-232C works 
just fine at these lower voltages. With 
that fact in mind, I designed this ter- 
minal to use as little power as possi- 
ble, drawing that power from a single 
+ 5-V source. 

So that it could receive full-voltage 
RS-232C levels, I used a transistor 
level-converter on the input line. For 
output, an operational amplifier (op 
amp) is configured as a "rail-to-rail" 
saturation switch, with a —5-V sup- 
ply provided by an Intersil ICL7660 
DC-to-DC-converter chip. This 
CMOS device converts +5 V to —5 
V at currents up to 15 mA. Using this 
combination of components, the RS- 
232C output level is generally about 
±4V. 

The major advantage of this ap- 



60 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc. 




TRODUCING THE NEWEST 
CREATION FROM XCOMP: 




TOASTER. 
TWO REMOVABLE 3.9", 5 MEGABYTE 
HARD DISK CARTRIDGES MAKES IT THE 
GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD! 



Now you can start the day by knowing you can get 
everything you ve always dreamed ot. In fact, it s the 
answer everyone s been looking for! JP 

The Toaster, from XCOMP. 

The Toaster is a Hard Disk Subsystem w ,'" 
twist. It contains TWO 3.9", 5 Megabyte Hard 
Cartridges that are REMOVABLE! 

The Toaster provides unlimited storage and 
convenient back-up with a full 5 Megabytes per 
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addition to XCOMP s quality, reliability and industry 
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a hard disk 

And* what about security? What can be more 
(cure than being able to pull out your cartridge and 
ke it home with you? 

Even though the Toaster is revolutionary. XCOMP 



also offers 16-MB Fixed, 5-MB Removable and 8 or 16 

Fixed Hard Disk Subsystems. We consider them the 

best in the industry. ALL XCOMP products attach to 

the Apple II and III, IBM-PC. NEC PC8000. OSBORN. 

KAYPRO and other popular single-board computers. 

The Toaster is just one of the many ideas coming 

rom the people at XCOMP today. 

Tomorrow, who knows what may pop up. 



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i' V \.' V 



o o 0,0 ouooyo jo jj * • <- 

j j j i • 






CY300 8227EI 

© CMS 1982 



**&- ^ 



Photo 2: Close-up views of the LCD-terminal prototypes: front (2a), side (2b), and 
rear (2c). 



proach is that it uses only a single 
voltage with very low power con- 
sumption. The terminal circuit re- 
quires less than 15 mA (excluding 
power for the keyboard). Given the 
power-supply voltage tolerances of 
the components and the communica- 
tion line, the entire package could be 
powered by four 1.2-V nickel- 
cadmium (NiCd) AA cells (providing 
a total potential of 4.8 V) or five 
1.5-V alkaline cells (6 V total) driving 
a type-7805 regulator. 

Finally, while you might use this 
handheld terminal just for its display, 
a keyboard can be attached. The key- 
board should present 7 bits of ASCII 
data in parallel, with the data-ready 
condition signaled by a negative- 
going (high-to-low transition) strobe. 



There are two ways to 
correct typing errors: 
the first is to use the 
ASCII Rubout character; 
the second is to use the 
Control-A and Control-B 
characters, which move 

the cursor without 
modifying the display 



Terminal-Mode Operation 

The Circuit Cellar Handheld LCI 
Terminal can replace a standarc 
video terminal for simple BASIC- 
language programming on a com- 
puter such as the Z8-BASIC Micro- 
computer. Using the keyboard, you 
can type statements into the CY300; 
these are immediately displayed on 
the LCD. The CY300 provides cursor 
editing to correct mistakes before you 
type the Return character. When 
Return is typed, the contents of the 
CY300's buffer (the current display 
on the LCD) are sent to the computer 
over the serial channel. If a computer 
response is called for, the computer 
sends the response over the serial in- 
put channel to the CY300, which then 
displays the response characters on 
the LCD. 

The normal operation of the Z8 



62 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






NEC's new letter-quality printer 
gets personal with IBM. 



The Spinwriter™3550 lets the IBM PC 
get down to business. 

NEC's new Spinwriter letter-quality 
printer is the only one plug-compatible 
with the IBM Personal Computer. So you 
get the business applications you've been 
wishing for. Letter-quality output for 
word and data processing. Multi-language, 
scientific, and technical printing. Simple 
forms handling. Quiet operation. And the 
reliability of the industry's most popular 
printer line. 

NEC designed the new Spinwriter espe- 
cially for the IBM PC. It comes complete 
with documentation and training materials 
to fit your PC user's handbook. Just plug 
the Spinwriter in and your PC instantly 
becomes more versatile and flexible. 

More than 8 forms handlers and 

50 print thimbles boost PC versatility. 

NEC designed the Spinwriter 's 8 modular 
forms handlers to accommodate a wide 
range of paper and document sizes and 
types. The easily mounted handlers let 
your computer print out the forms you 



need for data processing, word processing, 
graphics, accounting or other business 
applications. 

The Spinwriter's 50 print thimbles 
can more than triple your PC's usefulness. 
They come in both constant pitch and 
proportional-spaced fonts, plus in foreign 
language, technical and scientific versions. 
They snap in and out in seconds, and let 
you print up to 203 columns on 16-inch 
paper. They each last for more than 30 
million impressions. 

This printer's special features make 
everything look better on paper. 

The Spinwriter's software-invoked 
features include automatic proportional 
spacing; bidirectional, bold and shadow 
printing; justification; centering; under- 
scoring; and sub/super scripting, all at 
speeds up to 350 words per minute. 

That big extra, Spinwriter reliability. 

Spinwriters have the industry's best 
mean-time-bet ween-failure rating, in ex- 
cess of 3,000 hours. In terms of average 
personal computer usage, that's more 
than five years. 



The Spinwriter 3550 is available at 
ComputerLand stores. Sears Business 
Systems Centers and IBM Product 
Centers nationwide. 



NEC Information Systems, Inc. BE0283 
5 Militia Drive, Lexington, MA 02173 

Send me more information on the 
Spinwriter 3550. 



Title 



Telephone 



Company 



Address 



City 



State 



Zip 



SEC 



NEC Information Systems, Inc. 

Spinwriter is a trademark of Nippon Electric Co. , Ltd. 
Circle 295 on inquiry card. 



We're Made 



for Each Other 




BASIC interpreter is as follows: upon 
power-up the interpreter sends a user- 
prompting character (a colon) to the 
console display to inform you that 
the system is ready for command 
entry. 

You can enter a command or state- 
ment at any time by typing ASCII 
characters into the CY300. The first 
input from the keyboard (over the 
parallel channel) will clear the liquid- 
crystal-display buffer and appear left- 
justified. 

The input line is terminated by a 
Return character. At the occurrence 
of the Return, the contents of the 
display buffer are transmitted to the 
computer over the serial channel, and 
then the display buffer is cleared. 

Editing Operations 

With the keyboard connected to 
the parallel interface on the CY300, 
you have the ability to correct typing 
mistakes before sending commands to 
the Z8 board (or other host com- 
puter). Note that you can no longer 
edit the command after the Return 
character is typed, but until then any 
corrections can be made. 

There are two ways to correct typ- 
ing errors. The first and probably 
more often employed way is to use the 
ASCII Rubout character. (On some 
keyboards this character may be pro- 
duced by a key labeled "Delete".) 
When the Rubout character is typed, 
the CY300 cursor moves one space to 
the left and replaces the character at 
that space with a blank. The cursor 
remains at this new position until 
another character is entered, allowing 
you to back up the cursor, remove 
what has been typed, and reenter the 
corrected text. Multiple Rubouts will 
continue moving the cursor to the 
left, removing any characters that 
were in the display, until the leftmost 
position is reached. 

The second way to correct typing 
mistakes uses the control characters 
that move the cursor without modify- 
ing the display. The Control-A char- 
acter moves the cursor one character 
position to the left, while the Control-B 
character moves the cursor one char- 
acter position to the right. The 
display is not modified as the cursor 
is moved. However, if you enter new 



characters after moving the cursor, 
the new characters appear at the cur- 
rent cursor position, overwriting any 
characters that were there previously. 
This method of correction allows you 
to save typing if only a single charac- 
ter need be changed near the begin- 
ning of a line. Before typing the 
Return character, though, you must 
put the cursor back at the end of the 
input line, because the CY300 trans- 
mits only the characters from the 
beginning of the display until the 
character just before the current posi- 
tion of the cursor. 

In Conclusion 

I don't expect you to junk your 
video-display terminals after reading 
this article. Obviously, you'll need a 
24 by 80 (or similar size) screen for 
many purposes. But there are applica- 
tions for which a portable, battery- 
operated single-line display is more 
suitable than a large, full-feature ter- 
minal. The sophistication of the 
CY300 represents a major advance in 
LCD technology, and I'm sure many 
of you have applications ready for 
just such a device. 

Oh yes . . . about my weather sta- 
tion. After moving the mountain to 
Mohammed I was a bit displeased to 
find that someone had accidentally 
unplugged the power to the weather 
instruments. Of course, the problem 
was not hard to remedy. And if 
anything like it ever happens again, 
I'll be ready with my Handheld LCD 
Terminal. 

Next Month: 

A new integrated circuit from 
Texas Instruments makes it easy to 
build a reliable low-speed modem. ■ 



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

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



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



References 

1. Ciarcia, Steve. "Build a Computerized 
Weather Station." February 1982 BYTE, 
page 38. 

2. Ciarcia, Steve. "Build a Low-Cost, Remote 
Data-Entry Terminal." September 1980 
BYTE, page 26. 

3. Ciarcia, Steve. "Build a Z8-Based Control 
Computer with BASIC." Part 1, July 1981 
BYTE, page 38. Part 2, August 1981 
BYTE, page 50. 

4. Ciarcia, Steve. "Make Liquid-Crystal 
Displays Work for You." October 1980 
BYTE, page 24. 

5. Ciarcia, Steve. "No Power for Your Inter- 
faces? Build a 5 W DC to DC Converter." 
October 1978 BYTE, page 22. 

6. Leibson, Steve. "The Input/Output Primer, 
Part 4: The BCD and Serial Interfaces." 
May 1982 BYTE, page 202. 



The following items are available from: 

Micro Projects Inc. 

POB 420 

South Windsor, CT 06074 

1. Cybernetic Micro Systems CY300 Dot- 
Matrix LCD Controller chip $65 

2. Intersil ICL7660 DC-to-DC voltage 
converter chip $4 

For orders outside the continental United 
States, please add $5 for shipping. Connect- 
icut residents please add 7Vi percent sales 
tax. 

Sources of liquid-crystal displays are: 

AND Inc. 
770 Airport Blvd. 
Burlingame, CA 94010 
(415) 347-9916 
TWX (910) 374-2353 



Epson America Inc. 
LCD Division 
23155 Kashiwa Court 
Torrance, CA 90505 
(213) 534-0360 
Telex 182412 

The manufacturer of the CY300 LCD- 
controller integrated circuit is: 

Cybernetic Micro Systems 
445-203 South Antonio Rd. 
Los Altos, CA 94022 
(415) 949-0666 



64 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Westinghouse provides round- 
the-clock emergency breakdown 
service as well as normal main- 
tenance and repair of all types 
of electrical and mechanical equip- 
ment, regardless of manufacturer. 

From Motors to Transformers to Valves 

Westinghouse recommended a 
program of regular valve recondi- 
tioning to a petrochemical pro- 
ducer. As a result, valve 
replacement costs have been 
reduced 60 percent, valves oper- 
ate better than new, and delivery 
time is 90 percent shorter than 
lead time for new valves. 
Through a nationwide 
network of service facilities, 
Westinghouse repairs, rewinds 
or modernizes AC and DC 
motors and lifting magnets. 
Westinghouse can redesign, rerate, 




and modernize transformers of all 
configurations up to EHV classifi- 
cation, often in lead times shorter 
than needed to build new equip- 
ment. Heavy mechanical equip- 
ment such as compressors, 
rotors, crank shafts, forging 
presses and pump housings ; 
also repaired or'restored. 




The most up-to-date, well-main- 
tained equipment can only func- 
tion most productively if people 
-workers and managers-under- 
stand how to get the most from it. 



Westinghouse has helped many 
customers integrate technical im- 
provements into their businesses 
by training their equipment opera- 
tors and supervisory staff. 



Technical Training 

Each year Westinghouse trains 
thousands of people, maintaining 
facilities for industries, utilities 
and transportation systems. 
Proven classroom and hands-on 
methods include techniques for 
troubleshooting and maintaining 
equipment at the highest 
possible availability, 
performance, and safety. 



I 




Manager/Worker Interface 

At Westinghouse we've installe 
over 1,500 Quality Circles involv- 
ing more than 15,000 people. 
We've also helped our customers 
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interface. These techniques have 
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We have taught managers in 
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These include Management De- 
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building, communications skills 
training and measurement, and 
evaluation programs. 



Take the first step 

to improved productivity: 

Call Westinghouse. 



Over 4,000 Westinghouse 
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Westinghouse Service Specialists have 
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Backed by the complete technical , 
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Whether you are modernizing an 
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For more information: 

Call toll free: 800-245-4474. 

In Pennsylvania, call 800-242-2550. Or write: 

Westinghouse Building, Six Gateway Center, 

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ODUCTIVITY: 
ASK WESTINGHOUSE 




■ i 



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CP/M and MP/M are registered trademarks of Digital Research Inc. Apple II is a registered trademark 
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CP/M and CP/M-86 are registered trademarks of Digital Research. 



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Hardware Review 



Apple's Enhanced Computer, 

the Apple He 

It's like having an Apple II with all the extras built in. 



It all began in the summer of 1977 
at the West Coast Computer Faire. A 
fledgling computer company with an 
unusual name — Apple Computer — 
introduced a new hobby computer 
called the Apple II. The new Apple II 
was an impressive machine. It had 
BASIC in ROM (read-only memory), 
a built-in Teletype-style keyboard, 
high-resolution color graphics, and, 
once the new 16K-bit semiconductor 
memory devices became available, its 
memory could be expanded all the 
way up to 48K bytes. One of the first 
true home computers, it was com- 
pletely self-contained, needing only a 
TV set for a display and a common 
cassette recorder for data storage. 

Today, almost everyone is familiar 
with the Apple II. It can be found in 
homes, schools, laboratories, and 
businesses, and is being used in a 
wide variety of ways. During the past 
five years, an entire subindustry has 
sprung up around it that has, in turn, 
stimulated further Apple II sales. 

It had been obvious for a while at 
Apple Computer that a replacement 
for the Apple II was needed. The 
Teletype-style keyboard, uppercase 
only 40-column display, and the 



About the Author 

Rob Moore is a design engineering manager 
who also maintains a strong interest in 
FORTH, graphics, and computer music. 



Robin Moore 

Warner Hill Rd. RFD #5 

Derry, NH 03038 



maximum of 64K bytes of memory 
were becoming limitations as the 
marketplace changed and software 
became more sophisticated. The 
design was getting old and tech- 
nology had changed enough to allow 
a redesign with significantly fewer 
parts. A new design could also ad- 
dress foreign requirements for special 
keyboards, displays, and video sig- 
nals better than the Apple II. Al- 
though the Apple II was a tremen- 
dous success, it was clearly time to 
design a successor. 

Enter the Apple He 

For about the same price as the 
Apple II, the Apple He (e for en- 
hanced) provides a variety of exciting 
new features and capabilities. Rather 
than start from scratch and design an 
entirely new machine, Apple Com- 
puter Inc. chose to make a very 
careful series of enhancements and 
improvements while keeping the 
flavor and style of the Apple II. 
Although completely redesigned in- 
ternally, the Apple He is clearly a 
member of the Apple II family. 

Even though it looks almost the 
same as the Apple II, the Apple lie 
(see photo 1) gives you a great deal 
more for your money. The base- 
priced machine includes 64K bytes of 
memory (expandable to 128K bytes), 
Applesoft BASIC in ROM, a 63-key 
keyboard that produces both upper- 



case and lowercase characters and has 
special-function keys, seven expan- 
sion slots for I/O (input/output) 
devices, and a video interface that 
can display 24 lines in a 40-column- 
wide format with both uppercase and 
lowercase characters (this can be easi- 
ly and inexpensively expanded to 80 
columns). In addition to the standard 
Apple II I/O expansion slots, the 
main circuit board also holds a 
special auxiliary connector that is 
used primarily for various video- and 
memory -expansion options. Along 
with Applesoft BASIC, the internal 
16K bytes of ROM hold an improved 
monitor, built-in self-test routines, 
extended memory-management rou- 
tines, and an 80-column firmware 
package with extended editing fea- 
tures that can be used with the 40- 
column display. 

The quality of the product is highly 



Design Credits 

Although it is impossible to give 
credit to all the people involved, three 
people deserve special mention. Peter 
Quinn, the POS Hardware Section 
Manager, was responsible for the team 
that designed the Apple He. Walt 
Broedner designed the Apple lie hard- 
ware, including its two custom in- 
tegrated circuits. Rick Auricchio is 
Broedner's software counterpart — he 
modified the original Apple II Plus 
firmware and added all the new code 
that is in the Apple He firmware. 



68 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Photo 1: An Apple lie system made up of the Apple Monitor III, the Apple He com- 
puter, and a Disk II 5'A-inch floppy-disk drive. 




Photo 2: The rear panel of the Apple He. Instead of the plastic slots found in the Apple 
II, the Apple He's metal back panel is designed to mount 9-pin, 19-pin, and 25-pin 
D-type connectors in precut recesses, providing more reliable connections and reduced 
RF interference. The built-in game-paddle connector has also been changed to a 9-pin 
D-type; however, the older-style connector is still available inside the case to accommo- 
date existing devices. 



evident. The case is rugged structural 
foam, the keyboard has a nice touch 
and dished keytops, and the back 
panel (see photo 2) has an array of 
openings that fit the 9-pin, 19-pin, 
and 25-pin D-type connectors com- 
monly used for serial I/O devices. It 
appears obvious that the Apple He 
was designed from the ground up to 
meet the new FCC (Federal Commu- 
nications Commission) RFI (radio- 
frequency interference) regulations. 



The computer has a metal bottom 
pan, a metal back panel (rather than 
plastic as in the present model), and 
the removable cover is shielded with 
conductive paint and grounded with 
metal gaskets at the front and back 
edges. Some other nice touches in- 
clude: the "D" and "K" keys (the ones 
that the middle fingers of a touch- 
typist's hands fall on) have small 
bumps on their surfaces; the connec- 
tor openings on the back panel come 



with plastic caps to cover them if con- 
nectors aren't installed; the top cover 
has tabs in the rear to help lift it open, 
and screw holes to help keep it shut 
when desired (schools should like this 
feature). 

The Keyboard 

The keyboard is the most obvious 
difference between the Apple II and 
the Apple He. It is essentially an 
enhanced version of the Apple Ill's 
keyboard without the numeric pad; 
the keyboard on the Apple He (see 
photo 3) has 63 keys, while the Apple 
II has 53, and the layout is slightly 
different. Although the changes seem 
minor, they make the new keyboard 
significantly easier to use, especially 
in word-processing or screen-editing 
applications. 

One of the most significant changes 
is indicated only by the Caps Lock 
key. The Apple He keyboard pro- 
vides full uppercase and lowercase 
operation. When Caps Lock is 
latched down, however, it operates 
much like the original Apple II key- 
board and produces only uppercase 
characters. If the two solder pads on 
the main board labeled X6 are con- 
nected, programs can check to see if 
the Shift keys are pressed by reading 
the PB2 input in the game-paddle 
port. (This supports a common Apple 
II modification and many existing 
word-processing programs.) 

To correct a limitation of the old 
Apple II keyboard, the new keyboard 
can produce all 128 ASCII (American 
National Standard Code for Informa- 
tion Interchange) character codes. 
This was accomplished in the Apple 
He by adding some new character 
keys, along with Tab and Delete 
keys, to improve its word-processing 
capability. (The added keys, with dif- 
ferent keycaps, will be used in Euro- 
pean versions to provide an ISO [In- 
ternational Organization for Standar- 
dization] standard keyboard layout.) 

Two interesting additions are the 
Open-Apple and Solid-Apple keys, 
which are positioned one on each side 
of the space bar. If you press Control, 
Open-Apple, and Reset simulta- 
neously, the Apple He will write some 
arbitrary data into each page of mem- 
ory and then simulate a power-up 



February 1983 © BYTE Publication* Inc 69 



cold start. This eliminates the need to 
turn the Apple off and then on again 
to exit a protected program (a definite 
annoyance), but prevents people 
from making unauthorized copies of 
protected software. 

Pressing Reset while holding Con- 
trol and Solid-Apple invokes the 
built-in self-test software, which 
responds with "KERNEL OK" if the 
memory and circuitry pass the tests. 
Open-Apple and Solid-Apple may 
also be read individually and used as 
special-purpose keys by various pro- 
grams — they are internally connected 
to the game-paddle port inputs PBO 
and PBl. Other improvements in- 



clude a full set of cursor-control keys 
positioned to the right of the space 
bar, auto-repeat on all keys after a 
0.9-second delay, and a relocated 
Reset key. (The Reset key is placed 
apart from the main keyboard to 
keep it from being pressed accidental- 
ly. In addition, the Control key must 
be pressed simultaneously with the 
Reset key to have an effect; this 
behavior, standard on the Apple He, 
was an option on later models of the 
Apple II Plus.) 

Internally, the keyboard is com- 
pletely different from that on the Ap- 
ple II. The Apple lie keyboard is a 
simple array of switches — the key- 



board-scanning circuitry has been 
moved to the main printed-circuit 
board, which also holds a special 
numeric pad connector. A ROM on 
the main board maps the keyboard- 
switch closures into the appropriate 
ASCII codes and can be changed to 
provide foreign or special keyboards. 
(Incidentally, the American version 
of the ROM is only half used. The 
other half holds a Dvorak keyboard 
map that can be accessed with a few 
jumpers and etch cuts.) For program- 
mers, the keyboard provides an addi- 
tional "Any key down" flag; it can 
be read by examining location C010 
hexadecimal. This will allow pro- 



At a Glance 

Product 

The Apple lie computer 

Manufacturer 

Apple Computer Inc. 
20525 Mariani Ave. 
Cupertino. CA 95014 
(408) 996-1010 



Components 

System Unit 
Size: 



Power Required: 



Processor: 
Memory: 

Standard: 



Video Display: 



Video Outputs: 



width 15.2 inches (38.6 cm): depth 18 
inches (45.7 cm): height 4.5 inches (1 1.4 
cm) 

107 to 132 VAC. 60 Hz. 60-80 watts 
maximum 

1-MHz 6502 8-bit microprocessor 
64K bytes of memory; 1 6K bytes of monitor 
in ROM (includes self-test, Applesoft BASIC, 
and 80-column routines) 
keyboard for text and data entry: internal 
and external video connectors; 1 -bit pro- 
grammable audible speaker; audio cassette 
recorder input and output connectors; seven 
I/O expansion slots to hold peripheral 
devices and interfaces; external game con- 
trol connector with four analog inputs and 
three TTL or switch inputs (similar internal 
connector includes three TTL-level outputs) 
Two Uppercase/lowercase Text Modes 
•24v by 40h standard 
•24v by 80h optional 
•character set stored in ROM 
Two Standard Graphics Modes 

• 40h by 48v sixteen-color graphics 

(40 by 40 with four text lines) 

• 280h by 192 v bit-mapped array with 
half-dot-shift logic (280 by 1 60 with four 
text lines)— with appropriate software this 
can provide: 

560 by 1 92 monochrome graphics with 

some limitations 

280 by 1 92 monochrome graphics 

1 40 by 1 92 six-color graphics with some 

limitations 

140 by 192 four-color graphics 
Both outputs provide NTSC-compatible 
video, negative sync, 2-V peak-to-peak 



Keyboard: 63 keys for text and data entry; N-key 

rollover; auto-repeat on all keys (15 Hz) after 
0.9 seconds; four cursor-control keys; Caps 
Lock; two special-function keys; keyboard 
allows input of all 1 28 ASCII characters 

Disk Drives: System supports up to six 1 40K-byte 

5 'A -inch floppy-disk drives; data is stored 
using Apple Computer's 6/8 GCR (group- 
coded-recording) encoding 

Operating System 

Apple's DOS 3.3 single-user, single-task, program-driven operating 
system provides multiple file types, random-access and sequential 
text files, random disk allocation, individual file protection, and 
slot-based I/O 

Options 

Standard options include 80-column text card; extended 
80-column text card with 64K bytes of additional bank-switched 
memory; Apple Disk II floppy-disk drives and controllers 

Available Software 

Includes almost all existing Apple II software. New software 
includes Applewriter lie word processor (S 195) and Quickfile He 
database system (S100) 

Hardware Prices 

Apple He main unit $ 1 395 

Apple lie system with main unit. Disk II and controller. 

Monitor III, monitor stand, and 80-column text card S 1 995 

Apple Monitor III (green screen) S 249 

Apple Disk II (with controller/without controller) ($545/5395) 

80-Column Cards 

(standard/Extended card with 64 K memory) (S 1 25/S295) 

Optional Documentation 

Apple He Owner's Manual $20* 

Applesoft Reference Manual (two volumes) $30 

Applesoft Tutorial $ 25 

Applesoft package (both books plus disk of software) $ 50 

BASIC Programming Manual (Integer BASIC) $7 
The DOS Manual (DOS 3.3) S 1 0* * * 

DOS Programmer's Manual (available March, 1 983) n/a 

DOS User's Manual with Tutorial (March, 1 983) n/a 

Apple He Reference Manual $30 

Apple lie 80-Column Text Card Manual $ 20* 

Apple He Extended 80-Column Text Card Supplement $ 1 5* 

* included with associated Apple product, available optionally 
** one-page errata sheet available free from dealers 



70 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




LASTMGHTWE EXCHANGED LETTERS WITH 
MOM,THEN HAD A PARTY FOR 

ELEVEN PEOPLE IN NINE DIFFERENT SlATES 
AND ONLYHADTO W\SH ONE GLASS.- 



That's CompuServe, The 
Personal Communications 
Network For Every Computer 
Owner 

And it doesn't matter what kind 
of computer you own. You'll use 
CompuServe's Electronic Mail system 
(we call it Email™) to compose, edit and 
send letters to friends or business 
associates. The system delivers any 
number of messages to other users 
anywhere in North America. 



CompuServe's multi-channel CB 
simulator brings distant friends together 
and gets new friendships started. You 
can even use a scrambler if you have a 
secret you don't want to share. Special 
interest groups meet regularly to trade 
information on hardware, software and 
hobbies from photography to cooking 
and you can sell, swap and post personal 
notices on the bulletin board. 

There's all this and much more 
on the CompuServe Information Service. 
All you need is a computer, a modem, 



and CompuServe. CompuServe connects 
with almost any type or brand of 
personal computer or terminal and 
many communicating word processors. 
To receive an illustrated guide to 
CompuServe and learn how you can 
subscribe, contact or call: 

CompuServe 

Information Service Division, P.O. Box 20212 
5000 Arlington Centre Blvd., Columbus, OH 43220 

800-848-8990 

In Ohio call 614-457-8650 



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Circle 93 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 71 



apple j //<* 



r 



i inn iiiiiii 



m»»»»t 



rnw^wm 



I- 



Photo 3: The Apple lie keyboard. With uppercase and lowercase characters, N-key roll- 
over, auto-repeat on all keys, and special-function keys, it provides a mix of functions 
found on both typewriter-style and computer keyboards. Unfortunately, the left-arrow 
key is inconveniently placed for its use as a backspace key while using BASIC. The 
special Open-Apple and Solid-Apple keys are used to invoke the self-test routines, 
simulate a power-up cold start, and may be read as paddle push buttons and 1. 



This is combined uppercase and lower- 
case output on the Apple lie 



(4a) 



This is an exwple of uppercase and lowercase letters in the W-colwm node 
of the Apple He 



(4b) 



Photo 4: The Apple He video display. Photo 4a is an example of the 40-column text dis- 
play showing both uppercase and lowercase characters available. Photo 4b shows the 
Apple He 80-column display. The plus sign within the cursor shows that you are in 
Escape mode, which provides expanded editing and cursor-control functions. 



grams to provide their own auto- 
repeat or special pause functions, 
overriding the auto-repeat built into 
the keyboard. 

Text-Display Modes 

The standard Apple He displays 24 
rows of 40 characters (see photo 4a). 
It provides normal (white on black) 
and inverse-video (black on white) 
modes for all characters, and a flash- 
ing mode for the uppercase characters 
and special symbols. If you try to dis- 
play a lowercase character in flashing 
mode, the display shows a flashing 
special character instead. Although 
this may seem strange, it emulates 
exactly what is displayed by Apple lis 
that have been modified with added 
lowercase adapters, and is done this 
way for compatibility with those 
machines. The Apple He also pro- 
vides an alternate character set where 
there are only two modes — normal 
and inverse — but the characters are 
always displayed correctly. 

Although the ability to display 
both uppercase and lowercase char- 
acters is a definite improvement, I 
suspect that few users will stay with 
the 40-column display. The two 80- 
column options are just too useful — 
and too inexpensive — to be ignored. 

The 80-Column Display Options 

To accommodate users who need a 
display wider than 40 columns, the 
Apple lie offers two 80-column op- 
tion cards: the 80-column text card 
and the extended memory 80-column 
card, which includes 64K bytes of ad- 
ditional memory. Either of these 
cards can be plugged into the aux- 
iliary connector, and they are both 
just memory cards. Photo 4b shows 
an example of the 80-column text 
display. 

The actual 80-column display cir- 
cuitry and firmware are already built 
into the Apple lie. In fact, by setting 
the appropriate soft switches, you 
can see an 80-column display on any 
Apple lie — every character in the 
normal 40-column display will be dis- 
played twice. Both of the 80-column 
cards (see photo 5) provide the addi- 
tional display memory required for 
80-column operation; however, the 
80-column text card is inexpensive 



71 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Performance Breakthrough 




. . . the CYBERDRIVE for the IBM Personal Computer 



13.5 or 27 million bytes of disk capacity in a single cabinet with 
an integrated mini-cartridge tape for secure data backup. 



Setting an exciting new microcomputer standard, the 
CYBERDRIVE 1 combines a full package of features. 

It offers new, higher performance levels, with an inte- 
grated business-oriented backup device. 

As the CYBERDRIVE is made available for other systems, 
media transfer is assured regardless of the host hardware or 
Operating System. 

The CYBERDRIVE slashes the seek time dramatic- 
ally— e.g. the usual 5 Megabyte stepper-motor Winchester 
disk offers average seek time typically in the range of 100 to 
200 milliseconds Tincl. head settling). 

With the CYBERDRIVE, the average seek time across 
more than five times as much data is only 33 milliseconds 
(incl. head settling). 

This basic speed, coupled with disk cache buffering and 
a peak transfer rate of 1 million bytes per second, make the 
CYBERDRIVE a performance champ! 

The integrated mini-cartridge tapes used for backup of 
data allow dumping of (for example) 10 million bytes of data 
in about 10 minutes . . . much faster than other tape or floppy 
disk backup techniques. Hardware read-after-write error 
checking is incorporated in the tape device. 






...And don't fail to ask about our superb lineup of serious 
business software (also offered in CYBERDRIVE format) 
including: 

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MBSP RM/COBOL general business applications (derived 

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useful BASIC. 






The software is available on a variety of industry-standan 
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OASIS 6 , PCDOS, and UNIX 7 . Inquire for specific details and 
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Trademarks of: 



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Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. 



M iciv tl 



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Photo 5: The Apple He 80-column text card (bottom) and extended memory 80-column 
card (top). The 80-column text card provides an additional lK-byte text/low-resolution 
graphics display page, while the extended memory 80-column card duplicates the entire 
Apple He 64K-byte address space. 



Orange 



Blue 
Fantastic! 



Since you have a color television or 
nonitor attached to the AppL« you can 
enjoy, its color capabilities 
CPress RETURN] 



Photo 6: Apple He graphics. See the text for a full explanation of the modes available. 



because it is simply a lK-byte mem- 
ory card. 

The extra (separate) display mem- 
ory is needed because the 80-column 
circuitry displays twice as many char- 
acters in the same period of time as 
the 40-column circuitry. This doubles 
the rate at which the display accesses 
memory; if the Apple's main memory 
was used, this wouldn't allow the 
processor any memory cycles. The 
designers found an ingenious solution 
to this dilemma. The Apple He's dis- 



play always accesses memory at the 
40-column rate, allowing the pro- 
cessor all the memory cycles needed. 
When in 80-column mode, however, 
the display circuitry reads both the 
main memory and auxiliary display 
memory simultaneously, saving the 
character that is read from the aux- 
iliary memory and displaying it after 
the character read from the main 
memory. This allows the display to 
operate twice as fast but doesn't af- 
fect the operation of the processor. 



One of the nicest things about the 
Apple He 80-column option is that it 
is compatible with all other Apple lie 
display modes. In the old Apple II, 
people often used two monitors with 
80-column cards — one for the 80-col- 
umn display and one for 40-column 
text and graphics — because the avail- 
able 80-column cards had separate 
video outputs for the 80-column text. 

The 80-Column Firmware 

The 80-column routines built into 
the Apple lie ROMs provide a num- 
ber of advanced cursor-control and 
editing features. One of the most 
interesting is the lowercase restrict 
mode. If you type a Control-R when 
the 80-column firmware is active, the 
keyboard input is restricted to upper- 
case only (just as if Caps Lock was 
pressed) unless you are between 
quotes. This mode is handy because 
Applesoft BASIC and DOS 3.3 won't 
accept lowercase commands — it locks 
you into uppercase except when typ- 
ing in BASIC string constants (which 
can accept lowercase). 

To maximize its compatibility with 
existing software, the Apple lie 
80-column firmware emulates an 80- 
column card installed in I/O slot 3 
(the standard location). If one of the 
two 80-column option cards is in- 
stalled, typing PR#3 will activate the 
internal 80-column routines and dis- 
able any firmware installed in slot 3. 
Once activated, the 80-column firm- 
ware and its extended editing features 
can be used in either 40-column or 
80-column mode. In fact, by setting 
one of the soft switches, you can use 
the 80-column firmware even if you 
don't have the 80-column card in- 
stalled. 

To help you keep track of which 
display software is active, the Apple 
He displays three different types of 
cursors. A small checkerboard cursor 
indicates that the 80-column firm- 
ware is inactive. A larger block cur- 
sor is displayed when the firmware is 
on, and a -I- (plus sign) within the 
block indicates that the firmware is in 
"Escape mode" and is waiting for 
another keystroke, which will be in- 
terpreted as a cursor-movement com- 
mand. 

The 80-column software is also 



74 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



ing For Software. 

Now that the Sage II has sparked the 16-bit super- 
micro revolution, you might wonder when software 
will become available. 

The answer is now, because the Sage H's 
p-System operating system accommodates 
vast libraries of programs already produced 
for 8-bit machines. 

What's more, this exciting micro has fired the 
imagination of programmers who are busy devel- 
oping new software to take full advantage of its 
performance capabilities. 

No Wait States. 

The Sage II is based on the incredible 68000 
processor. 

One advantage is the total elimination of mem- 
ory access wait states so that interaction between 
the processor, RAM and disk drives is speeded up. 

If you've been blaming your floppy for tardiness, 
consider this: The Sage II loads a 20K program in 
about a second-from its 5Vi " floppy. 



The Specs You've Been Waiting For. 

8 Mhz 68000 • up to Vi Mb on board RAM • 24- 
bit bus addresses up to 16 Mb • one ortwo built-in 
5'/4 " floppy drives-320Ktol,3 Mb • RS-232C ports 
• Parallel port • IEEE-488 interface • Call or write for 
full specifications. 

No Waiting Until Yon Can Afford It. 

A Sage II with one disk drive and 128K on board 
RAM is priced at just $3,600. 

It represents more computing power for the 
money than ever before. 




Our assembly, testing, and shipping depart- 
ments are currently achieving a 4 day turnaround 
time on incoming orders. Order direct or through 
your dealer. 

A Free P-System For Those 
Who Don't Wait. 

The p-System operating system and Pascal, 
FORTRAN 77 and BASIC compilers which alone 
lists for $1,475, we're now including free with the 
Sage II. 

So see your dealer or give us a call. We'll be wait- 
ing to hear from you. 

35 North Edison Way, Suite 4, Reno, Nevada 
89502,(702)322-6868. 




C OMPUTER J TECHNOLOG 

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compatible with other languages. If 
you have Apple's Pascal 1.1 or one of 
the Apple II CP/M systems, these 
both can load in 80-column mode and 
operate correctly without any addi- 
tional patches or modifications. 

Graphics 

Like the Apple II, the Apple lie 
offers two standard graphics modes. 
The low-resolution mode produces 
16-color graphics, with either 40 by 
48 pixels (picture elements) or 40 by 
40 pixels and four lines of text. The 
standard high-resolution mode pro- 
vides a 280 by 192 bit-mapped pixel 
array with half-dot-shift logic (see 
photo 6). Depending upon the soft- 
ware used, this mode can be used to 
provide limited 560 by 192 mono- 
chrome graphics, 280 by 192 mono- 
chrome graphics with no limitations, 
140 by 192 six-color graphics with 
limitations, or 140 by 192 four-color 
graphics. (The vertical dimension is 
reduced to 160 pixels if you want four 
lines of text at the bottom.) 

The 80-column options are the keys 



to the new Apple He graphics fea- 
tures. With the proper software, the 
Apple lie can provide double-density 
graphics in both low-resolution and 
high-resolution modes. Either of the 
80-column cards will support the 
double-density low-resolution graph- 
ics, but you will need the extended 
memory 80-column card if you want 
to use the double-density high-resolu- 
tion mode, which can also provide 
140 by 192 graphics with 16 colors! 
At the time this article was written 
(November 1982), no software was 
available to support these new graph- 
ics modes; however, it will un- 
doubtedly be available soon, either 
from commercial vendors or user's 
groups. 

The double-density graphics modes 
are provided by the 80-column dis- 
play circuitry. Instead of simply dis- 
playing bytes sequentially from the 
main memory, it displays bytes alter- 
nately from the main memory and the 
auxiliary memory, at twice the nor- 
mal rate. Although this capability 
was designed to provide an 80-col- 



umn text display, the designers soon 
realized that it could also be used to 
provide additional graphics modes. 

Use of the double-density graphics 
has three requirements. First, you 
need a Revision "B" main circuit 
board; this will probably be the only 
type shipped after the first month of 
production. Second, you must con- 
nect two pins on your 80-column 
card; this is explained in the Apple He 
Reference Manual. Third, you must 
turn on the AN3 output to the game- 
paddle connector; this can be used to 
switch between normal and double- 
density mode. (Unfortunately, the 
Apple lie sent to BYTE for review had 
a Revision "A" main board. Thus, 
there is no photo of the new graphics 
modes included with this article.) 

Inside the Box 

The most significant differences be- 
tween the Apple II and the Apple He 
are internal. The main printed-circuit 
board has been totally redesigned and 
incorporates many new features and 
options unavailable in the Apple II. 



It's not Magic, if s NEC, 



NEC distributors 
pull miracles out of 
a thimble. 

NEC Spinwriters:" Their supernatural reliability 
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The Spinwriters' rapidly growing catalog of print 
thimbles give you incredible versatility. One NEC 
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has complete technical and mathematical symbols. 
Another a full scientific symbol font. The thimbles 
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more than 30 million impressions. 

Of all printer companies, only NEC designs and 
manufactures its own comprehensive family of 
forms handlers. We've got eight of them, enough to 
handle any form you can conjure up. They're all user- 
changeable, too. 

Spinwriters have remarkable reliability, more 
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And they need no preventive maintenance or 




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The NEC Spinwriters. Reliable, auiet, 
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For more information on NEC Spin- 
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The power supply is unchanged, but 
there are now seven I/O expansion 
slots instead of the eight found in the 
Apple II. Part of the Apple He mem- 
ory emulates a 16K-byte RAM (ran- 
dom-access read/write memory) card 
(commonly installed in Apple lis), 
and the card's former location, I/O 
slot 0, is no longer present. 

The most obvious change is a re- 
duction in the number of ICs (inte- 
grated circuits). Where an Apple II 
with a keyboard enhancer, a 16K- 
byte memory card, and an 80-column 
card included about 120 ICs, the 
Apple He provides the same features 
with just 31 ICs. A large part of this 
reduction is due to the use of 64K-bit 
dynamic memories, rather than 16K- 
bit ones. The entire 64K-byte mem- 
ory of the Apple He occupies just 8 
ICs. 

Another significant reduction in IC 
count is provided by two custom- 
designed MOS (metal-oxide semicon- 
ductor) ICs — the IOU (input/output 
unit) and MMU (memory-manage- 
ment unit) — that manage memory 




Photo 7: The Apple lie engineering prototype wire-wrap boards. The custom MOS IOU 
and MMU ICs are emulated with discrete logic on the board to the left, while the Apple 
He main board prototype is on the right. 



and I/O decoding and provide many 
of the new internal features. Photo 7 
shows the engineering breadboard of 
the Apple lie main board and a sec- 
ond board that emulates the IOU and 



MMU with standard 7400-series ICs, 
so that the designs could be complete- 
ly tested before committing them to 
silicon. The IOU and MMU emula- 
tions required about 50 and 60 ICs 




ALABAMA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

(205) 883-8660 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

(205) 837-8700 

Huntsvllle, AL 

ALASKA 

Transalaska Data Sys., Inc. 

Anchorage, AK 
(907) 276-5616 

ARIZONA 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

(602) 243-6601 

International Data Systems 

(602) 231-0888 

Phoenix, AZ 

The Phoenix Group, Inc. 

Tempe, AZ 

(602) 894-9247 

Spirit Electronics 

Scottsdale, AZ 

(602) 998-1533 



CALIFORNIA 

Byte Industries 

(415) 783-8272 

ComputerLand Corp. 

(415)487-5000 

Hayward, CA 

Consolidated Data Terminals 

Oakland, CA 

(415) 638-1222 

Data Systems Marketing 

San Diego. CA 

(619) 560-9222 

Eakins Associates, Inc. 

Mountain View, CA 

(415) 969-4533 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

Tustin, CA 

(714) 832-9920 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

Sunnyvale, CA 

(408) 245-9291 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

Reseda, CA 

(213) 708-2055 

Electronic Mktg. Specialists 

San Diego, CA 

(619) 560-5133 

Emerson Enterprises 

San Ramon, CA 

(415) 837-8728 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Sunnyvale, CA 

(408) 773-9990 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp, 

San Diego, CA 

(619) 268-1201 

Leasametric 

Foster City. CA 

(415) 574-4441 





W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc 




Fort Lauderdale, FL 




(305) 776-4800 


Leasametric 


W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc 


Culver City, CA 


Melbourne, FL 


(213) 670-0461 


(305) 723-0766 


Micro Business World 


W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc 


Tarzana, CA 


Tampa, FL 


(213) 996-2252 


(813) 985-0394 


RC Data, Inc. 


Cain & Bultman, Inc. 


San Jose, CA 


Jacksonville, FL 


(408) 946-3800 


(904) 356-4812 


Renaissance Tech. Corp. 


Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 


Concord, CA 


Fort Lauderdale, FL 


(415) 676-5757 


(305) 971-9280 


Terminal Rentals, Inc. 


Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 


Tustin, CA 


Orlando, FL 


(714) 832-2414 


(305) 855-4020 


Terminal Rentals, Inc. 


Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 


San Jose, CA 


St. Petersburg, FL 
(813) 576-8691 


(408)292-9915 


United States Data Systems 


GEORGIA 


San Mateo, CA 




(415) 572-6600 


W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc 


Vitek 


Atlanta. GA 


San Marcos, CA 


(404) 455-1035 


(714) 744-8305 


Digital Solutions, Inc. 


Waybern Corp. 

Garden Grove, CA 


Marietta. GA 
(404) 955-4488 


(714) 554-4520 


Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 


Western Microtechnology 

Cupertino, CA 
(408) 725-1662 


Norcross, GA 
(404) 447-8000 


HAWAII 


COLORADO 


Gray Associates 


Acorn Data Products 


Kailua, HI 


Englewood, CO 
(303) 779-6644 


(808) 261-3751 


ILLINOIS 


Data Design & Development 

(303) 296-3807 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 




Oytec/Cantral, Inc. 


Arlington Heights. IL 
(312) 394-3380 


(303) 934-3111 
Denver, CO 


Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 




Bensenvilie, IL 


FLORIDA 


(312) 860-3800 ^^ 


W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 




Orlando, FL 




(305) 425-5505 









Photo 8: The Apple He main circuit board. The 31 ICs on this board replace the 120 ICs 
found in a standard Apple II, including a memory card, 80-column card, and keyboard 
enhancer, as well as providing a number of new features not available in the Apple II. 



respectively. In the final board 
(shown in photo 8), these 110 ICs are 
replaced with just two components. 

Working together, the IOU and 
MMU generate all memory-address- 



ing and I/O-decoding signals. The 
MMU is primarily responsible for 
supporting the 6502 processor. It ac- 
cepts addresses from the processor, 
does any necessary memory-bank 



switching, and converts the address 
to the multiplexed form required by 
the dynamic memories. The IOU pro- 
vides similar functions for the video 
display. It also includes the video- 
timing logic, keyboard control, and 
other miscellaneous functions. To 
support foreign versions of the Apple 
He, the IOU includes video circuitry 
to provide both the American- 
standard NTSC (National Television 
System Committee) signals and 
European-standard PAL signals. The 
IOU ICs are customized during 
assembly by the manufacturer by 
connecting the internal bonding wires 
to the appropriate set of pads on the 
IC chip inside the package. 

The Auxiliary Connector 

Although I/O slot is no longer 
present, a new "auxiliary connector" 
can be used in a variety of ways. In 
the factory, the auxiliary connector is 
used to connect special test equip- 
ment to the Apple He. With this 
equipment and the signals available 
at the auxiliary connector, problems 



Information Systems, Inc. 
Arlington Heights, IL 
(312) 228-5480 
Kaltronics 
Northbrook, IL 
(312) 291-1220 
Nablh's, Inc. 
Evanston, IL 
(312) 869-6140 
Tek-Alds Industries, Inc. 
Arlington Heights, IL 
(312) 870-7400 

INDIANA 

Dytac/Central, Inc. 

Indianapolis, IN 
(317) 247-1316 
General Microcomputer 
South Bend, IN 
(219) 277-4972 
Graham Elec. Supply, Inc 
Indianapolis, IN 
(317) 634-8202 



Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 

Carmel, IN 
(317) 844-0102 

IOWA 

DytewCentral, Inc. 
(319) 363-9377 

KANSAS 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 
Lenexa. KS 
(913) 888-4747 

Inland Anoclatei, Inc. 
Olathe, KS 
(913) 764-7977 



LOUISIANA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 

Mandevllle. LA 
(504) 626-9701 

MARYLAND 

Bartlett Associates, Inc. 

Bethesda, MD 

(301) 656-3061 

Hell-Mars Electronics Corp. 

Baltimore. MD 

(301) 796-9300 

M/A-Com Alanthus 

(301)770-1150 

Micro Distributors, Inc. 

(800) 638-6621 

Rockvllle, MD 

The Zamoiski Co. 

Baltimore, MD 

(301) 644-2900 

MASSACHUSETTS 

Bartlett Associates, Inc. 

framingham, MA 

(617) 879-7530 

The Computer Store, Inc. 

Sudbury, MA 

(617) 879-3700 

Continental Resources, Inc. 

Bedford, MA 

(617) 275-0850 

CPU Computer Corp. 

Charlestown, MA 

(617) 242-3350 



Mlcroamerlca Dlstr. Co., Inc. 

Needham. MA 
(617) 449-5807 
Slmsim, Inc. 
Natlck, MA 
(617) 655-6415 

MICHIGAN 

General Data Company, Inc. 
Brighton. Ml 
(313) 227-3046 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 

Farmington Hills, Ml 
(313) 477-7586 
WKM Associates, Inc 
Madison Heights. Ml 

(313) 588-2300 

MINNESOTA 

Hail-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Bloomington, MN 

(612) 854-3223 

Inland Associates, Inc. 

Minneapolis, MN 

(612) 379-5354 

Kaltranlcs Distributing, Inc. 

St. Paul. MN 

(612) 293-0385 

Team Central, Inc. 

Minneapolis, MN 

(612) 623-3850 

Tele-Terminals, Inc. 

Brooklyn Park, MN 

(612) 536-6000 

MISSOURI 

Hall-Mark Electronic* Corp. 

Maryland Heights. MO 

(314) 291-5350 



Inland Associates. Inc. 
St. Louis, MO 

(314) 391-6901 

NEW JERSEY 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Cherry Hill, NJ 

(609) 424-7300 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Fairfield, NJ 

(201) 575-4415 

Logon, Inc. 

Hackensack, NJ 

(201) 646-9222 

TransNet Corporation 

Union, NJ 

(201) 688-7800 

WP Parlplt. » Supply Co., Inc. 

Matawan, NJ 

(201) 946-4995 

NEW YORK 

Bartlett Associates, Inc. 

White Plains, NY 

(914) 949-6476 

Bartlett Associates, Inc. 

Holcomb, NY 

(716) 657-6309 

The Computer Factory 

New York. NY 

(212) 687-5000 

Erin Computer Dlstr. Corp. 

Farmingdale, NY 

(516) 293-4114 

Ossmann Computer Tech., Inc. 

East Syracuse, NY 

(315) 437-6666 

Ossmann Computer Tech., Inc. 
Rochester, NY 
(716) 473-5720 
Ossmann Computer Tech. 
Vestal. NY 
(607) 785-9947 



can be localized to one or two ICs. 

Once in the customer's hands, the 
auxiliary connector is used to hold 
various video and memory options. 
Its set of signals provides access to a 
number of areas in the Apple He and 
can, in fact, be used to totally disable 
the internal video-generation cir- 
cuitry, so that an alternate video gen- 
erator can be installed. Currently, the 
only options supplied by Apple Com- 
puter Inc. for the auxiliary slot are the 
two 80-column cards. However, other 
devices should soon be available from 
Apple and other manufacturers. 

The Extended Memory 
80-Column Card 

Besides an 80-column display, the 
extended memory 80-column card 
provides an additional 64K bytes of 
memory. Rather than switching 
blocks of auxiliary memory into a 
fixed address range, the designers 
chose to replicate the entire 64K-byte 
addressing space on the auxiliary 
card and provide a series of soft 
switches that enable either the main 



memory or auxiliary memory in 
various address ranges. The docu- 
mentation points out that "even 
though an Apple He with an extended 
memory 80-column card has a total 
of 128K bytes of programmable mem- 
ory in it, it is not appropriate to call it 
a 128K-byte system. Rather, there are 
64K bytes of auxiliary memory that 
can be swapped for main memory 
under program control." 

To help programmers use the aux- 
iliary memory, the Apple lie 80-col- 
umn firmware provides two special 
routines: AUXMOVE and XFER. Us- 
ing these two routines, you can store 
and retrieve data in the auxiliary 
memory or transfer control to a pro- 
gram that resides there. 

AUXMOVE is used to copy data 
from main memory to auxiliary mem- 
ory or vice versa. You simply store 
the data's starting address, ending ad- 
dress, and destination address in 
memory locations; set or clear the 
processor's carry flag to indicate 
direction; and call AUXMOVE. XFER 
is used in a similar fashion in order to 



jump from programs in main memory 
to others in auxiliary memory (or vice 
versa). XFER may also be used to 
switch stacks and zero pages as you 
transfer from one section of memory 
to the other. 

These two routines, and the aux- 
iliary memory, open up some inter- 
esting possibilities. It appears to be 
possible, for example, to have an en- 
tire Pascal system residing in main 
memory, while a DOS 3.3/BASIC 
system is in auxiliary memory, and be 
able to transfer control between the 
two systems at will. 

Soft Switches 

To support the auxiliary memory 
and 80-column display software, the 
Apple lie provides a number of new 
soft switches and adds a few new fea- 
tures to the old ones. (A soft switch, 
in an Apple II or Apple lie, is a 
memory location that can be accessed 
to cause some hardware change to 
take place.) 

Existing soft switches in the Apple 
II were used to select various video 



NORTH CAROLINA 

W.A. Brown Instruments. Inc. 

Durham. NC 

(919) 683-1580 

Hall-Mark Elactronlcs Corp. 

Raleigh, NC 

(919) 832-4465 

OHIO 

General Data Co., Inc. 
Cincinnati. OH 
(513) 851-2585 
General Data Co., Inc. 
Lakewood, OH 
(216) 228-8833 
General Data Co., Inc. 
Fostorla, OH 
(419) 435-1191 

Hail-Mark Electronics Corp. 
Highland Heights, OH 
(216) 473-2907 
Hall-Mark Elactronlcs Corp. 
Westerville, OH 
(614) 891-4555 
Midwest Microcomputer 
Defiance, OH 
(419)762-1115 
WKM Associates 
Cleveland, OH 
(216) 524-5930 
National Instr Dlstr. Inc. 
Oayton, OH 
(513) 435-4503 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Falrvlew Park, OH 
(216) 779-9660 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Englewood, OH 
(513) 836-0951 

OKLAHOMA 

Data Applications Corp. 
(918) 250-8686 



Hall-Mark Elactronlcs Corp. 

(918) 665-3200 
Tulsa, OK 

OREGON 

Mleroware Distributing 
Aloha, OR 
(503) 642-7679 

PENNSYLVANIA 

Bartlatt Associates, Inc. 
Norristown. PA 
(215) 666-7100 
General Data Company 
Pittsburgh, PA 
(412) 788-4800 
Star-Tronic Distributor Co. 
Monroeville, PA 
(412) 372-3340 
WKM Assoclatas 
Pittsburgh, PA 
(412) 892-2953 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 
Columbia, SC 
(803) 798-8070 

TENNESSEE 

W.A. Brown Instruments, Inc. 
Oak Ridge, TN 
(615) 482-5761 

TEXAS 

Data Applications 

Addison, TX 
(214) 931-1100 
Data Applications 

Houston, TX 
(713) 686-8413 



Data Appllcatloni 

San Antonio, TX 

(512) 732-7176 

DAB Data Systems 

Piano, TX 

(214) 422-7910 

DAB Data Systems 

Houston, TX 

(713) 463-7561 

Hall-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Dallas, TX 

(214) 343-5000 

Hail-Mark Electronics Corp. 

Austin, TX 

(51?) 258-6848 

Hall-Mark Elactronlcs Corp. 

Houston, TX 

(713) 781-6100 

Southern Micro Distributors 

Irving, TX 

(214) 258-6636 

UTAH 

Acorn Data Products 
Salt Lake City, UT 
(801) 973-7958 

VIRGINIA 

Nina Associates 
Fairfax, VA 
(703) 273-1803 
Terminals Unlimited 
Falls Church, VA 
(703) 237-8666 



WASWN6T0N 



Micro Technology Inc. 
Tacoma, WA 
(206) 272-3347 
Sigma Distributing 
Bellevue. WA 
(206) 454-6307 

WISCONSIN 

Hall-Mark Elactronlcs Corp. 
Oak Creek. Wl 
(414) 761-3000 



SEC 

NEC Information Systems, Inc. 

Circle 296 on inquiry card. 



^ 



A 



(la) 



APPLE Ma MAIN MEMORY 



RAM CARD AREA 



ROMS 



EXTENDED 80 -COLUMN 
TEXT CARD AUXILIARY 
MEMORY 

RAM CARD AREA 



HEXADECIMAL 
ADDRESS 



FOOO 



E000 



D000 



CFFF 



C800 



C600 



C400 



C200 



C080 
C000 









MONITOR 








12K 




F800 






12K 










APPLESOFT 
BASIC 
















4K 
BANK 1 


4K 
BANK 2 








4K 
BANK XI 


4K 
BANK X2 



I/O AREA 



ROMS 



2K 

SHARED I/O 

MEMORY 

SPACE 




80-COLUMN 
ROUTINES 




SLOT 7 
SLOT 6 
SLOT 5 
SLOT 4 




SELF -TEST 
ROUTINES 




SLOT 3 




80-COLUMN 
CODE 




SLOT 2 
SLOT 1 

INTERNAL 
I/O 




SELF-TEST 
ROUTINES 









Figure 1: Apple lie memory maps. Within the Apple lie's main memory, ROM can be 
switched to replace RAM in various address ranges. When the extended 80-column text 
card is used, it adds 64K bytes of switched memory. Areas of RAM and ROM that can be 
switched are indicated with arrows. In the 80-column text and double-wide graphics 
modes, the computer's main memory and the auxiliary memory on the card are accessed 
simultaneously to double the display density. Figure la (above) shows the language- 
card RAM and I/O areas, while figure lb (on page 82) shows the main RAM and 
display areas of memory. The 80-column text card includes the alternate text page xl 
only. 



modes and control the internal I/O 
devices (keyboard, game paddles, 
speaker port, and cassette port). If a 
16K-byte memory card was added, it 
included additional switches to dis- 
able the card or to enable areas on the 
card as read-only or read-write 
memory. When using the switches, 
however, the programmer had to 
keep track of them. There was no 
way to read them back. 

The Apple He makes many of the 
existing soft switches, and all the new 
ones, readable. Specifically, you can 
read back the states of the video- 
mode switches, the 16K-byte mem- 
ory-card-area switches, and all the 
new auxiliary-memory switches by 
examining locations between hexa- 



decimal C010 and COIF. To help pro- 
vide better graphics animation, you 
can also read the "vertical blanking" 
from the video display, thus allowing 
you to change the contents of 
memory while it is not being used to 
create the video display. 

The auxiliary memory is supported 
by several new switches that change 
the display from main to auxiliary 
memory, enable display areas in both 
memories at once for 80-column text 
or double-density graphics, and con- 
trol reads and writes to the auxiliary 
memory. Other switches allow you to 
overlay portions of the I/O-slot 
memory space with the internal ROM 
80-column firmware or self -test rou- 
tines, and select either the standard or 



alternate display character sets. 
(Figures la and lb provide memory- 
switching maps for the Apple He.) 

Apple II Compatibility 

One of the major concerns during 
the design of the Apple He was its 
level of compatibility with the Apple 
II. Literally thousands of programs 
are written for the Apple II, and 
numerous hardware products are de- 
signed to plug into Apple II I/O slots. 
User surveys had shown that the 
volume of available software was a 
prime consideration among pur- 
chasers. It was therefore obvious that 
the new machine had to be compati- 
ble with virtually all existing Apple II 
hardware and software products, 
while still including the desired new 
features and design improvements. 

The designers succeeded admir- 
ably. The Apple He is physically a 
complete redesign; logically, how- 
ever, it is compatible with almost all 
existing Apple II software and hard- 
ware add-ons. This goal was not met 
simply — more than 150 software 
products and numerous peripheral 
devices were tested for compatibility 
during the Apple lie development 
process. 

Unfortunately, a few Apple II- 
based products from other manufac- 
turers won't work properly in an 
Apple He — primarily because their 
designers did not follow Apple's in- 
terface guidelines. In general, acces- 
sory cards that occupy one of the I/O 
slots and do not connect directly to 
an IC socket will operate correctly. 
Others that connect directly to the 
main circuit board or to the keyboard 
will not be compatible without 
redesign. 

Examples of cards that will work in 
an Apple lie include 80-column cards, 
serial and parallel interfaces, graphics 
tablets, disk controllers, and memory 
cards that do not connect to an IC 
socket. To maximize compatibility, 
Apple II-style video- and game- 
paddle connectors are provided inside 
the case, even though the new-style 
connectors are now on the back 
panel. This allows existing video 
switches, joysticks, and game con- 
trols to be used with the Apple He 
(although they may cause excessive 



80 February 19*3 © BYTE Publications Inc 







RMAX 



i ;; . I 



Beyond 
DBMS 



Eventually microcomputers 
will all use programmeMess 
information management systems 
like IN FORMA X® The next generation 
in software. The first in multi-user. 



Your microcomputer, no matter how expensive or 
well designed, is no better than the program it 
uses. And most programs are limited to only one or 
two functions. They are for accounting, or payroll, 
or inventory, or mailing, or filing, or computing, or 
whatever . . . and usually for just one user, as well. 

Soon after buying a first computer every 
businessman or professional finds he needs to do 
more than one procedure with it. He also discovers 
that more than one person in his office will need to 
use it at the same time. 

IN FORMA X is the first information management 
system professionally engineered from its inception 
to operate in the multi-user, multi-tasking, and 
multi-processing environment. It is the only 
database software you will ever need. 

The unique achievement of INFORMA X is an 
information system which structures data for 
storage and retrieval. It is the most efficient 
framework for an elegant computer filing system. 
Usually these systems require a programmer to fit 
them to the particular tasks of your business. 
INFORMA X provides a programmer-less system for 
even the first time user to create programs which 
fit exactly his own business needs. 

Circle 5 on Inquiry card. 




Menu driven, screen oriented 

tutorial response techniques allow anyone to 
create, modify or customize programs to their own 
exact requirements. No "computereze" or cryptic 
languages are used; only single keystroke 
command structure has been used through the 
system's five components: THE DATABASE, THE 
REPORTER, THE APPLICATION WRITER, THE 
SECURITY SYSTEM and THE MENU MAKER. 
Automate your information storage, retrieval and 
transmittal . . . your way . . . and step into the next 
generation of business life. 

ABACUS DATA is committed to creating software 
to enhance your business today and tomorrow. We 
welcome questions and comments. Use our toll 
free service numbers. 1-800-874-8555 
and in Florida call collect 904-398-8547. 



S3 



abacus data, inc.™ 

1 920 San Marco Boulevard 
Jacksonville, Florida 32207 



CURRENT SPECIFICATIONS: Z80, 8085, 8080A 
Minimum Memory 52K. CP/M®, MP/M®, MmmOST®, TurboDOS® 
Operating Systems. Current delivery customized for TeleVideo®, 
Osborne®, Molecular®, Action®, and Altos® 

(Call for others) 



BYTE February 1983 81 



(lb) 



APPLE lie MAIN RAM 



HEXADECIMAL 
ADDRESS 



AUXILIARY RAM 



BFFF 



6000 



4000 



2000 



COO 

800 

400 
200 
IFF 

FF 



24K 












8K 

HIGH- 
RESOLUTION 
GRAPHICS 
DISPLAY PAGE 


I 


8K 

HIGH- 
RESOLUTION 
GRAPHICS 
DISPLAY PAGE 1 




8K 

HIGH- 
RESOLUTION 
GRAPHICS 
DISPLAY PAGE XI 




5K 

TEXT/ LOW- 
RESOLUTION 
DISPLAY PAGE 2 




6K 




TEXT/LOW- 
RESOLUTION 
DISPLAY PAGE 1 




TEXT/LOW - 
RESOLUTION 
DISPLAY PAGE XI 




0.5K 




0.5K 




STACK PAGE 








STACK PAGE X 


ZERO PAGE 


« » 


ZERO PAGE X 



Figure 1: (continued) 

RF interference). 

Devices that won't work in an 
Apple lie include keyboard en- 
hancers, lowercase display adapters, 
numeric pads (existing designs), and 
memory cards that connect to an IC 
socket with a small flat cable. For- 
tunately, the capabilities of most of 
these devices are already included in 
the Apple He. 

It is much harder to quantify which 
Apple II software products will or 
will not work in an Apple He. To sup- 
port the new hardware features, cer- 
tain changes had to be made to the 
ROM monitor routines, and these 
changes may affect programs that use 
the monitor. Approximately 40 stan- 
dard entry points and routines in the 
monitor have been documented by 
Apple Computer, and all these have 
been left intact and operate correctly, 
even though the actual code may have 
changed somewhat. However, some 
programs use undocumented entry 
points and these may or may not run 
properly. 



It seems safe to assume that all pro- 
grams written in higher-level lan- 
guages will work. Thus, software 
written in Integer or Applesoft 
BASIC, FORTRAN, PILOT, Logo, 
and Pascal should run correctly (pro- 
viding that no strange monitor 
CALLs were made), along with 
CP/M programs that use the stan- 
dard BIOS (basic input/output sys- 
tem) CALLs. Also, any software sold 
by Apple Computer will be compati- 
ble with the Apple He. In addition, a 
great deal of commercial software has 
been tested at Apple Computer, and 
your local dealer should know which 
products are compatible with the new 
machine. (If in doubt, you should ask 
the dealer to demonstrate the pro- 
gram on an Apple He before pur- 
chase.) 

Software 

As with most new computers, a 
great deal of software isn't available 
yet specifically for the Apple He, but 
the machine doesn't require it. Most 



of its new features can be applied to 
make existing Apple II software easier 
to use. At least initially, the Apple He 
will use the same DOS 3.3 disk oper- 
ating system that is currently used in 
the Apple II, although it will prob- 
ably be repackaged on a new master 
disk. 

Apple Computer Inc. has done a 
great deal to make writing programs 
for the Apple He as easy as possible. 
The Apple He Reference Manual pro- 
vides precise technical descriptions of 
every area of the machine, and the 
built-in memory-management rou- 
tines will encourage programmers to 
take advantage of the extended mem- 
ory option. Because the 80-column 
firmware acts like a conventional 
80-column card in I/O slot 3, pro- 
grams that use 80-column displays 
can easily be compatible with both 
the Apple He and the Apple II. 

To help programmers identify the 
type of machine and which options 
are present, the Apple He Extended 
80-Column Text Card Supplement to 
the reference manual provides an 
identification routine, with examples 
in assembly language, BASIC, and 
Pascal. To aid outside developers 
(Apple considers them extremely 
valuable), 120 Apple lies were lent to 
various vendors during the eight 
months prior to the product introduc- 
tion. This allowed a large number of 
software and hardware suppliers to 
prepare a variety of new pro- 
ducts — eighteen programs from ten 
companies are scheduled for 
troduction coincidentally with 
Apple He. 

One interesting new program 
the Apple He is simply called "Apple 
presents Apple He." Primarily a key- 
board tutorial, it uses humorous text 
and excellent graphics to guide you in 
a friendly fashion through the fea- 
tures of the Apple lie keyboard. The 
section that teaches the cursor keys 
includes two simple but well-designed 
maze games where you guide a rabbit 
or gnome through a maze with the 
cursor-control keys. These made an 
immediate hit with our 3-year-old, 
who within 15 minutes was guiding 
the rabbit through the maze and 
laughing at its antics when it hit the 
walls. 



m- 
the 

for 



82 Febmary 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



TO ORDER CALL 

1-800-451-2502 

617-641-1241 



Technical Support 
617-641-1235 




■zr 



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So, what good is your iim 
Personal Computer anyway? 
Yours is the only computer that can run. 



*j 



One program combining three essential productivity tools: 
Spreadsheet Information Management Graphics 

for only $495! 

\ "We are determined to provide the same level of support for l-2-3 m 
that has made Software Banc the nation's leading dBASE 11™ dealer." 

Adam B. Green 

President 
SoftwareBanc 



1-2-3 is a registered trademark of Lotus Development Corporation 

dBASE II is a registered trademark of Ashton-Tate, Inc. 

IBM Personal Computer is a registered trademark of International Business Machines 

Circle 388 on Inquiry card. 



V 







Applewriter and Quickfile 

Applewriter He and Quickfile He 
are Apple Computer's first two major 
software products that are designed 
to use all the new Apple He features. 
Both are enhanced versions of the 
same programs for the Apple III, and 
both are characterized by being ex- 
tremely friendly to the user — they 
provide clear, simple prompts, 
multiple menus to select options, and 
numerous "help" screens to guide you 
through the program operations. 
Although at the time this article was 
written (with Applewriter) the docu- 
mentation was preliminary, it ap- 
pears to follow the format of the 
other Apple He manuals — clear and 
friendly. 

Applewriter He is a document- 
oriented word processor with 
numerous editing and print-format- 
ting features. It will run with or 
without the 80-column display and 
extended memory options, but will 
use them if they're present. One of the 
more interesting features of Apple- 
writer He is called WPL (word-pro- 



cessing language). WPL allows you to 
compose and execute a series of Ap- 
plewriter commands that are stored 
in a disk file. It provides looping, 
conditional execution, and sub- 
routine calls, effectively allowing you 
to automate the production of form 
letters, invoices, or other repetitive 
tasks. WPL also provides a turnkey 
capability that can be used to 
automatically execute a WPL pro- 
gram after you load the Applewriter 
He disk. 

To get familiar with Applewriter 
lie, I used it to prepare this article. I 
was particularly impressed with the 
print-formatting capabilities. It was 
very easy to set up a standard manu- 
script page — double-spaced, one-inch 
margins, with headers and footers — 
and I could preview the actual ap- 
pearance of the result by printing to 
the display rather than the printer. It 
did, however, take me a while to get 
used to some of the editing features. 
When you delete characters, words, 
or paragraphs, Applewriter deletes 
from right to left. This is fine if you 



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84 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Ire 



Circle 118 on inquiry card. 



are correcting a mistyped character 
immediately but seems a little 
awkward otherwise. On the whole, I 
liked Applewriter and recommend 
that you look it over if you are con- 
sidering purchasing a word processor 
for your Apple He. 

Quickfile He is an information- 
filing system (or database manager) 
that allows you to store and retrieve 
information, search and sort your 
files, and print reports in formats that 
you define. It also has math capabil- 
ity — you could set it up, for example, 
to file a list of checks and their 
amounts, and it could also balance 
your checkbook for you. 

Quickfile lie is also compatible 
with Applewriter He. Quickfile 
reports can be included in Apple- 
writer documents, and Quickfile files 
can guide the production of Apple- 
writer form letters. I didn't get a 
chance to spend much time with 
Quickfile, but it appears to be very 
well done, as is most of Apple's soft- 
ware. 

Documentation 

The new Apple He manuals are so 
good they must be seen to be be- 
lieved. In a spiral-bound format, 
slightly larger than the Apple II 
manuals, they are extremely clear and 
readable — presenting their informa- 
tion in an easy step-by -step manner. 
It is obvious that Apple spared no ef- 
fort or expense when designing them 

The Apple He Owner's Manual ii 
an excellent example of the right wa 
to introduce a beginner to a first com- 
puter. Using clearly written text and 
numerous color photos, it starts out 
by telling you how to unpack and set 
up the computer and then explains 
the various parts of the system in lay- 
man's terms. As you read through the 
manual, points of special interest and 
warnings are clearly noted and possi- 
ble error messages are explained. 
Nine pages are devoted to the key- 
board alone — they describe how to 
use each of the functions available 
and how they are commonly used in 
programs. Further chapters introduce 
you to the system hardware, the DOS 
3.3 disk operating system, the display 
features, and various computer ap- 
plications. Other chapters describe 

Circle 136 on inquiry card. - 



THE NEW DAS SERIES 500 FOR THE IBM PC: 






r*lr"^a serie 



THE DATA ACQUISITION ^CONTROL SYSTEM 

YOU SHOULD CONSIDER OVER A MINI 

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Photo 9: A look at the Apple lie Owner's Manual. The manuals provided with the 
Apple He set new standards of quality by being comprehensive, very friendly, and by 
containing numerous color photos to illustrate the text. 



the various computer languages, how 
to add components to your system, 
and what to do when you have prob- 
lems. 

This is clearly the first manual a 
new owner should read, and is also 
the only manual that is included with 
the Apple He. The new owner picks 
up the only manual in the box and it 
tells exactly what to do to get the 
system up and running. To avoid 
confusion, all other manuals are op- 
tional, and many manuals included 
with products are available separ- 
ately. (The Apple lie Owner's 
Manual is shown in photo 9.) 



The Apple lie Reference Manual is 
an optional manual worth noting. It 
provides a complete technical 
description of the machine, and its 
operation, in detail sufficient to satis- 
fy almost anyone. It provides descrip- 
tions of the hardware and special 
features, instructions for using the 
monitor, timing diagrams and pin- 
outs of the custom ICs and ROMs, 
and a complete set of schematics. No 
self-respecting programmer or ex- 
perimenter should be without this 
manual. Apple also provides other 
manuals, including rewritten Apple- 
soft and DOS manuals and reference 



manuals for the Apple lie and the 
80-column boards; see the "At a 
Glance" text box on page 70. 

Conclusions 

As you can probably tell, I was im- 
pressed with the Apple He. The peo- 
ple at Apple Computer had their act 
together when they designed this 
machine and it really shows. 

I am disappointed that the 
80-column cards are not as inexpen- 
sive as they were rumored to be; 
other vendors will probably design 
less expensive ones. However, with 
the new keyboard and 80-column 
display, the Apple He can handle just 
about any task. 

The manuals with the system are 
superb. They are friendly, easy to 
read, and comprehensive, setting a 
new standard for the industry to 
meet. 

Applewriter He and Quickfile He 
are well-written, useful programs that 
will find favor with people who wish 
to use their Apple He for word pro- 
cessing and information filing. With 
these two programs and a spreadsheet 
(like Visicalc), you could satisfy vir- 
tually all your computing needs. 

I was most impressed with the 
balance struck between compatibility 
and new features, and the obvious 
care that went into the design. Con- 
gratulations, Apple Computer, 
you've produced another winner. ■ 




.'original 
Drive Control Unit that t'uf 
floppy drives off during periods of 
inactivity by using a state of the art optoisolator 
with zero crossover control and built in activity monitor. 
We've continued to improve the design (it's the size of a business card to 
fit within the drive), ease installation time (about 15 minutes) and models are 
now available for virtually all popular 8 inch drives (including a foreign version). 
So for those of you, who are still grinding down your drives, wearing out media 
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Assembled and tested $49.95 

Kit with Documentation $29.95 

Type of drive MUST be stated with order. 
NY residents add local tax. Include $1 .50 
for postage and handling. 

OPTRONICS TECHNOLOGY 

P.O. Box 81, Pittsford, N.Y. 14534, (716) 377-0369 



86 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 308 on inquiry card. 



15 new problem-solving 
Microboard products. 



Now, RCA offers more 
than 85 "real world" 
solutions. 

The broadest line of CMOS Micro- 
board products in the industry continues 
to expand. This means more capability 
for you. 

For example, our Microboard Floppy 
Disk Controller enables you to interface 
with up to four industry standard 8-inch, 
5 1 /4-inch mini, or3'/2-inch microfloppy 
disks. You can program the track step- 
ping rate, head load time and head 
unload time. 

This controller is especially effective 
with our new Micro Floppy Disk Drive 



Module, which contains two 3'/2-inch 
disks— each capable of holding 322K 
bytes of formatted data. And the module 
mounts directly into our industrial 
chassis. 

We're also introducing four new Micro- 
board power supplies to increase your 
design options in the U.S. and Europe. 

And, if data communications is impor- 
tant to you, our Bell compatible MODEMS 
are joined by two new CCITT compatible 
Auto MODEM Microboardsfor Europe- 
to-Europe communications. 

We've even improved internal system 
communications for software develop- 
ment with our powerful new MicroDOS 
Disk Operating System and Monitor Pro- 
gram on ROM. 

All prices shown are 1 00* optional distributor resale in U.S., except those marked * which are single unit prices 
RCA Solid State headquarters: Somerville, NJ. Brussels. Paris. London. Sao Paulo. Hong Kong. 



And, we've added four new high- 
speed static CMOS memory boards and 
an interface board. Our 32K/64K-byte 
RAM/ROM,8K-byte RAM, 16K-byte 
RAM and 32K-byte RAM boards are 
attractively priced. The Optically Isolated 
DC Interface board features 8 input and 
8 output parallel I / O lines. 

Now it makes more sense than ever 
to choose RCA CMOS Microboards: the 
proven, economical, real world problem 
solvers. 

To find out the full story behind these 
new products and the more than 70 
other members of our Microboard family, 
contact any RCA Solid State sales office, 
representative or appointed distributor. 

Or call (800) 526-3862. 

Circle 367 on inquiry card. 



•A," 8" Floppy 
1 " Disk Controller 
CDP18S651— $280. 

2 3V Dual MicroDisk 
' Drive Module 
MSIM50— $790. 

O MicroDisk Operating 
"" Software (MicroDOS) 
CDP18S845— $300.* 

"I ROM Monitor 
" Program 
CDP18SUT70— $49.' 

C Optically Isolated 
DC Interface 
CDP18S663— $197. 



_ CCITT Direct- 
" Connect 

Auto MODEM 

300 baud 

CDP18S653V3— $315. 

T CCITT Direct- 
" Connect 
Auto MODEM- 
1200 baud 
CDP18S653V4— $35 





Q RAM ROM EPROM 
' Memory Board 
Any mix to 64K 
CDP18S628— $189. 

"' CMOS RAM 
mory Board 
th RAM/ROM 
pansion to 48K 
JP18S630— $237. 

, 16K CMOS RAM 
" Memory Board 
with RAM/ROM 
expansion to 48K 
3P18S631— $284. 



-|-|_ 32K CMOS RAM 
" Memory Board 
CDP18S632— $339. 

-1 Power Supply- 
, * fc " Switching 115V Module 
MSIM40— $394. 

■1 Power Supply 
'**" Switching 230V Module 
MSIM40E-$394. 

•tA Power Supply- 
"■ Linear 115V Module 
MSIM41-$157. 

■1 C Power Supply- 
■**• Linear 230V Module 
MSIM41E— $157. 








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Now our $29.95 complete Pascal for CP/M is an even better bargain: 

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INTERFACE AGE, Oct. '82 "...JRT Pascal is following the example set by Software 
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INFOWORLD, Aug. 16, '82 The magazine's Software Report Card' rated JRT's 
documentation good' and performance, ease of use and error handling 
excellent'*- the highest rating. 



AND NOW: JRT PASCAL 3.0— 

with all the features that earned 2.0 so 
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This astonishing price includes the complete 
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new expanded user manual. Not a subset, 
it's a complete Pascal for CP/M.* 

Modern computer languages recognize 
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the procedures are separately compiled, if one 
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Faster and more reliable than ever, 
for beginner or expert, engineer or business- 
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features unequaled by any other Pascal... 
or any other language. 

88 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



OUR NO-RISK OFFER: 

When you receive JRT Pascal 3.0, look 
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Extended CASE statement 

Graphing procedures 

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14 digit BCD FLOATING 
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TO JRT CUSTOMERS: THANK YOU. 

Your response to very low-priced/high-quality 
JRT Software has been overwhelming. Since 
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new JRT owners; because we allow them 
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as rewarding for us are the many positive 
comments JRT gets from pleased customers 
and the media. Pascal 3.0 is an example of 
new improvements and products we 
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JAMES R. TYSON 
Owner JRT Systems 





...new, improved, but... 



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J7T/IT80\L30 



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Send 

to JRT SYSTEMS 

550 Irving Street/A1 

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Here's my $29.95; please send me JRT Pascal. I understand that if I'm 
not completely satisfied, I can return it within 30 days — with the sealed 
diskettes unopened — for a full refund. (Allow 2-3 weeks for shipping.) 
I need the 5-1/4" diskettes for □ Apple CP/M; □ Heath, Hard Sector; 
□ Heath, Soft Sector; □ Northstar; a Osborne; □ Superbrain; 
D Televideo; □ Xerox 820. I need D 8" SSSD diskettes. 



Name- 



State - 



.Zip_ 



Address 

City 

D Check □ C.O.D. □ MasterCard □ VISA 

(CA residents add sales tax. Add $6 for shipping outside North America.) 

Card # 



Exp. 



Signature 

•CP/M is a Digital Research TM. 



A 56K CP/M system is required 



Circle 222 on inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 



89 



BYTE Interview 



An Interview with Wayne Rosing, 
Bruce Daniels, and Larry Tesler 

A behind-the-scenes look at the development of Apples Lisa. 



Of the more than 90 members of 
the Apple engineering staff who par- 
ticipated in the Lisa project, Wayne 
Rosing, Bruce Daniels, and Larry 
Tesler are three of those who were 
most responsible for its final form. 
Rosing, formerly of the Digital Equip- 
ment Company, oversaw hardware 
development until Lisa went into 
pilot manufacture and then assumed 
responsibility for technical manage- 
ment of the entire Lisa project. 
Daniels and Tesler were responsible 
for Lisa's systems software and ap- 
plications software, respectively. 
Chris Morgan, senior editor Gregg 
Williams, and West Coast editor Phil 
Lemmons interviewed the three at 
Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, 
California, last October. 



BYTE: Tell us how you staffed the 
Lisa project. 

Tesler: In software, we drew mostly 
experienced people from other com- 
panies and very few people straight 
out of school. Even the ones we took 



Chris Morgan 

Gregg Williams, Senior Editor 

Phil Lemmons, West Coast Editor 

out of school generally had lots of job 
experience. In fact, one time I 
surveyed the applications group and 
found an average of nine years' work 
experience in software. When we 
looked at resumes, we tried to find 
people with several years of ex- 
perience in development. We made 
exceptions if someone had specialized 
in something we were interested in or 
was a top student who also had good 
summer experience. We wanted an 
experienced team because what we've 
been doing is a very major software 
effort. It's very complex, and there's 
such a large body of software to 
crank out and make reliable that it 
takes experienced people. 
BYTE: When did you do the hiring? 
Tesler: The project went through 
phases. There was some design and 
some implementation when the pro- 
ject first started two and a half years 
ago, but we hired most of our soft- 
ware people about two years ago. In 
three months, we hired most of the 
software staff, and then they spent 
several months learning about the 



machine and designing their par- 
ticular parts of the software. The bulk 
of the programming started about a 
year and a half ago. 

We had to spend quite a long time 
just building a team — people who had 
a common view and could work 
together. We drew people from dif- 
ferent companies with completely dif- 
ferent backgrounds and tried to do 
something that nobody in this group 
had ever done. Some of us had done 
parts of it before. We were develop- 
ing everything in parallel: the hard- 
ware, the operating system, the ap- 
plications, the manuals, the details of 
the user interface. We did have a sort 
of fundamental philosophy, but hav- 
ing to do everything at once means 
you're never sure when you're going 
to get what you need from the person 
who does whatever you need next. 
Daniels: I think communication is the 
key there. If you have that many 
things going in parallel, you spend a 
lot of time communicating so each of 
you knows what the other's doing 
and can depend on each other. 



90 February 1»83 © BYTE Publications Inc 





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There is simply 
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Companies with as few as four or as many 
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With the BPI Payroll System, employees 
may be paid weekly, biweekly, semimonthly 

Circle 58 on inquiry card. 



or monthly by three methods: salary, hourly 
with up to three different hourly rates, and 
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Deductions from FICA, federal and 
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All BPI Systems software is designed to 
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SOFTWARE IN BUSINESS. 

3423 GUADALUPE / AUSTIN, TX 7870S / 512-454-2801 

BPf and BPI Systems are trademarks of BPI Systems Inc. 

BYTE February 1983 91 



STATISTICS SO EASY, 
ITS LIKE MAGIC. 



SPEED 



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At last, there's a sophisticated statistics 
package that's easy to learn and simple to 
use: speedSTAT 1. 

With extensive statistical analysis capabili- 
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data points and more than 30 different sta- 
tistical measures — speedSTAT 1 is the 
next major tool in your software collection. 
It multiplies your capabilities. , .with some 
pretty magical results. 

If you've relied on large computers for your 
statistical needs in the past, you'll appreci- 



professional statistical 

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Apple computers 

ate the convenience and affordability of 
speedSTAT 1 . And even if you don't have 
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statistics, speedSTAT 1 will make your 
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Of course speedSTAT has a lot more up its 
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Apple dealer. Or call Toll Free 800/543- 
1350 (in Ohio call collect: 51 3/891 -5044) 
and we'll send you more information. 

SpeedSTAT is a trademark of SoftCorp International, Inc 
Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 



229 Huber Village Boulevard 
Westerville, Ohio 43081 

Circle 385 on inquiry card. 



"SfSP i 



BYTE Interview^ 



Tesler: It took a while to work out 
those channels. It was rough at the 
beginning, but it's pretty easy now. 
Our progress was gradual. I think I'd 
call it team-building. Some of the 
things were hard to do in an organiza- 
tion that's thrown together like this. 
But once you've got a team built, it's a 
valuable asset. Of course, we were 
doing technical work all along, but in 
a sense we spent a year building the 
team and a year building the product. 
Now when we build something else, 
we can do it without the team- 
building step. 

BYTE: What about project security? 
Rosing: We tried to be as secure as we 
could without creating a discouraging 
atmosphere for people to work in. 
Within the group there has always 
been total information transfer, and 
we've kept lots of machines available. 
People have been able to take 
machines home with them. There was 
always the risk of losing a Lisa in a 
burglary, but we had a rule that the 
floppy disk had to be kept separate 
from the machine. We felt it was 
worth risking a theft to gain the in- 
creased productivity of people work- 
ing at home. We've been very for- 
tunate; we haven't lost one machine. 
BYTE: How did you schedule the 
project? 

Tesler: People made estimates, but it 
was difficult. All the estimates were 
conditional — "If the hardware is here 
by a certain date and the operating 
system is frozen and I have the user- 
interface definition and I can get some 
assistance from people who have the 
right sort of experience, then I can do 
it in this many months." But none of 
the ifs were ever really possible. 
People were really hesitant to make a 
firm date because there were so many 
contingencies. We did come up with 
schedules all the time, but they were 
myths. 

Daniels: Getting Lisa to market has 
been a dream, a goal that we all have. 
Although we're willing to make com- 
promises to get Lisa out expeditious- 
ly, the dream of what we're trying to 
achieve is the major thing. 
Rosing: We had this dream of what 
we wanted to do, and I think over 



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BYTE Interview. 



time we recognized that we couldn't 
achieve some of the goals. Well have 
to take care of them later. We've 
taken the attitude that Lisa is going to 
be good and we're not going to 
sacrifice the integrity of the product 
for scheduling. We wanted to make a 
very balanced set of decisions, and so 
everything, as I say, just started to 
come together. The floppy disk 
works well, the mouse works well, 
the hardware works well, the soft- 
ware is beginning to come, and now 
we're cranking to get this first release 
out. But we won't let it be com- 
promised because of scheduling. 
Daniels: Part of the difficulty was 
that both the user interface and the 
internals — the architecture — of the 
software are revolutionary. Getting 
that architecture designed and built 
was a big scheduling problem. Once 
we'd done that, we'd built the founda- 
tion. Now building the applications is 
much smoother and has been much 
easier for us to predict. 



Tesler: We didn't know if some of the 
things we started would work at all, 
like the way the dot-matrix printer is 
used and even the way the letter- 
quality printer is used to print the 
graphics. 

Daniels: No one had ever done that 
before. 

Tesler: Theoretically, it ought to be 
possible, but it had never been done, 
and the manufacturer of the printer 
didn't believe it could be done. It had 
to be possible in order for this prod- 
uct to do what we wanted, but no one 
could predict how long it was going 
to take. When we hired the printer 
people we told them to do it in two 
months. It took them a year and a 
half, but they did it. And then the 
high-density disk drives are new 
technology to Apple. A lot of the 
concepts in there had never been tried 
before. That was one of the biggest 
risks. And Apple not only built disk 
drives for the first time but built 
revolutionary disk drives. 




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BYTE: What makes them revolu- 
tionary? 

Rosing: One of the major things we 
did was to vary the speed of the disk 
as you change the track position, so 
the drives keep constant area density, 
and that gives them a greater capaci- 
ty. Second, we used microstepping 
algorithms on the stepper motor so 
that if a head gets off track because of 
changes in humidity and tempera- 
ture, the intelligent controller can 
hunt and find the track. So we have 
much better interchangeability, with 
much higher density, and we're get- 
ting approximately 50 to 60 percent 
more data on that disk by good 
systems engineering. Some of the 
competitive units have a greater 
capacity, but we think the error rate 
ultimately suffers. We wouldn't 
tolerate a serious error-rate problem. 
BYTE: How does the error rate com- 
pare with double-sided double- 
density disks? 

Rosing: As for hard-error rates, we're 
talking about 10" 12 , and that occurs 
after so many bits that it's hard to 
measure. But we're quite delighted 
that the measurements are impossible 
to take. Basically that means the er- 
rors are low. 

BYTE: Did you work more than 
40-hour weeks? 

Tesler: Each engineer set his or her 
own schedule. Some engineers work 
something like Monday through Fri- 
day from nine to five. Others work 
all day at the office, then go home 
and work all night there. And what 
an individual engineer does may vary 
from time to time. 

Daniels: These people have pride. 
They set their own milestones and 
they want to meet them, so they'll put 
in extra work to do that. 
Tesler: We decided a long time ago 
that since the project would obvious- 
ly go on for more than a few months — 
a couple of years — we couldn't have 
this constant pressure on everybody, 
because people would just crack. 
BYTE: As individual designers, do 
you feel that your signature is on that 
machine? 

Tesler: I think that's true of 
everybody in the group. Even people 



94 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE February 1983 95 



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BYTE Interview! 



Qume 

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Circle 359 on inquiry card. 



who have been with us for only a few 
months have something in the Lisa 
that they can look at and say, "That 
was my idea; that's my code." It's 
really a group effort. Even marketing 
got involved in the design effort in 
various ways, particularly in user- 
interface issues, product design, 
packaging, and the style of the 
manuals. The whole division really 
got involved. 

BYTE: When did you decide to incor- 
porate all the fundamental applica- 
tions into the system software? 
Daniels: At the very beginning. Some 
applications weren't decided until 
later, but the integration, the way it 
all fit together, was a goal from the 
very beginning. 

Rosing: As a matter of fact, we cut 
out a few more things because we just 
didn't feel we could manage a project 
that large. Then we added a couple 
things back in as we became more 
comfortable with the development 
cycle. But we've basically been 
operating on the same goal for the 
past two years, with very little 
change of direction. 
BYTE: What was the sequence in the 
early days? Did you decide what the 
project had to look like to the end 
user, and then what software was re- 
quired, and then. . . 
Daniels: Then hardware. In fact, we 
spent the first six months hammering 
out the user-interface docket. We had 
that completely specified before we 
really started the applications. I think 
the key to success here is to know 
where you're going before you start. 
Tesler: The hardware, the operating 
system, and the applications were all 
developed somewhat in parallel, but 
there was a definite cause and effect. 
The people who designed the hard- 
ware had to make decisions, for ex- 
ample, about whether the disk drive 
should have a door that you flip open 
or a button to push, that kind of 
thing. The designers focused on that 
aspect of the user interface even 
before the rest of the user interface. 
They didn't want the user to be able 
to accidentally pull out a disk when it 
was being written on or something. 
So some decisions were made even 



before the hardware was designed. 
There have also been hardware revi- 
sions. The first Lisa hardware was 
here when I came, over two years 
ago. It's gone through 
several. . . how many revisions since 
then? 

Rosing: About four. Each one's been 
an iteration. We discovered a few 
things in the early hardware that 
wouldn't work well. We just took 
them out because we couldn't do 
them properly. The rest has mostly 
been a matter of fine-tuning Lisa so 
that it's very manufacturable and 
very reliable. 

Tesler: Each time they go through a 
cycle, the people working on user in- 
terface get another crack at it — "Since 
you're going to revise the hardware 
anyway, why don't you. . . ?" Or the 
people doing the operating system 
say, 'The memory-management unit 
needs to be more general, and since 
you're redesigning the hardware any- 
way. . . " So we were able to get in 
some hardware revisions. Also, that 
keyboard you saw yesterday is not 
the final one. After user testing, and 
because of needing to support the 
European market, we determined that 
we really needed a couple more keys 
on the keyboard, so we made a major 
change in the keyboard layout. 
Rosing: One of the things about this 
project that's different is that, more 
than any other I've been associated 
with, there's a continuous loop for 
dealing with user issues. We've gone 
to the software and that has implied a 
hardware change. We synthesized a 
lot of different disciplines. The 
power-off button used to be a tradi- 
tional button on the back of the 
machine, but we didn't want to en- 
courage users to turn off their 
machines that way because if they left 
a document open, they would lose it. 
BYTE: Do you expect to find a little 
initial resistance to the fact that the 
machine doesn't actually turn off 
when you push a button? Do you 
think people are going to say, "Well, I 
know I can leave it alone now, but I 
want to make sure it turns off"? 
Rosing: Right. It does feel a little fun- 
ny at first, but after a few times you 

February 19S3 © BYTE Publications Inc 99 



BYTE Interview. 



begin to have confidence that the 
thing does turn itself off. 
BYTE: When you finally got the user- 
interface specified, did you have a 
brief description of it that everybody 
knew by heart? 

Daniels: It was about a 35-page docu- 
ment. 

BYTE: Thirty-five pages of specifica- 
tions? 
Tesler: We have something called the 



User-Interface Standard, and it con- 
sisted of those things which would be 
common to all applications. Also, the 
year after that document was pub- 
lished some revisions and some 
changes were made, and as we built 
applications we found that they had 
even more in common than we envi- 
sioned. Then we would adopt those 
things as part of the standard. 
Daniels: Another thing we've done is 



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them down and seeing what their im- 
pressions are. That has caused some 
changes, and I think that's all shown 
in the quality. 

BYTE: Where did you get your naive 
users? 

Tesler: Various places — the bulk of 
them were new Apple employees. We 
had a screening process. New Apple 
employees go through an orientation 
the first Monday morning they're 
here. We handed out a questionnaire 
to the new employees about their 
previous experience with computers, 
word processors, video games, and 
that sort of thing, and then what kind 
of work they did. Someone in our 
training department screened all 
those vitae. I'd go in and say I needed 
three user test subjects this week who 
have no word-processing experience 
but who are secretaries or accounting 
people to test out our Lisa Calc. She'd 
go through and pick out some can- 
didates and I'd pick the ones I 
wanted, based on their experience for 
whatever test I was trying to run. We 
had about 50 tests this year in 
engineering to test out the software. 
BYTE: The fact that you responded to 
the tests speaks well for the end prod- 
uct. The changes in the keyboard, for 
instance. How recently did you 
decide to change the keyboard for the 
final time? 

Tesler: There were several changes. 
Those from the user tests had to do 
with changing the numeric pad so it 
had the arrow keys on it so you could 
move around in the Lisa Calc table. 
Those tests were run around January 
[1982], I think. 

Rosing: January, and in March we 
decided to make the change. 
Tesler: That was just key-cap legends 
that had changed. The other change 
has to do with the number of keys on 
the keyboard and was primarily for 
the benefit of international sales, 
although it did improve the user in- 
terface in terms of the positioning of 
the Enter key and the Extended 
Character option key, which gives 
you extended character sets. Those 
were all done around the same time. 



100 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE February 1983 101 



BYTE Interview! 



Rosing: The interesting thing is that 
we were at the stage in the program 
where the decision to make even what 
sounds like a simple change takes six 
months to percolate through because 
it's not a simple engineering 
change — it's manufacturing, tooling, 
documentation. 

Daniels: We made one legend change 
in June or July — the Apple key. When 
was that? 



Tesler: July, and it's just now showing 
up. 

BYTE: A legend change? 
Tesler: You saw two keys that said 
Command on them. The new version 
has only one, and instead of saying 
Command it has a picture of an apple 
on it. The reason is that the key's used 
as a shortcut to choose a menu com- 
mand. If you look at a menu, on the 
right you'll see this little apple symbol 



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and a letter. If you hold down the 
Apple key and the letter, you get the 
command. We couldn't find any way 
to symbolize the Command key that 
would fit nicely in a menu and be 
recognizable to people. We tried and 
tried. Finally we decided that the 
apple looked nice and had a nice 
sound to it — "Apple X," "Apple 
R" — and it keeps Apple in the mind of 
the user instead of "control" or 
something else. It's a symbol that 
everybody using this machine will 
recognize instantly, so we decided to 
put it on the key as well as on the 
screen. To finish the artwork in time 
to get the machines to test users in 
time to get responses, and so on, the 
change had to be in by a certain date. 
The decision was made only hours 
before the deadline. 
BYTE: Are there going to be two 
Command keys without legends on 
them? 

Tesler: No, only one. We studied 
IBM and DEC and other keyboards 
and found that they all have just a 
single Command or Control key on 
the left-hand side. We also really 
wanted to put an Enter key on the 
main keyboard because we would 
like to be able to offer a configuration 
in which an alphabetic keyboard and 
a numeric keyboard are in- 
dependent—for, say, a company that 
does only word processing. Word 
processors don't need the Clear func- 
tion, but they do need the Enter func- 
tion, so we wanted to be able to have 
the Enter key on the main keyboard; 
that way, even people without a 
numeric keypad can hit Enter. Again, 
on IBM and DEC keyboards the Enter 
key is standard; on many of those 
keyboards, that's the standard posi- 
tion for the Enter key. So we decided 
to be more like other companies. The 
Enter key also gives us the option of 
removing the numeric keypad with- 
out losing an important function. 
And then the option keys were put on 
the side of those, and there we de- 
cided we did need two option keys, 
left and right, because they're used 
very much like shift keys for typing, 
and in Europe it would be very im- 
portant to be able to touch-type for- 



102 February 1983 © BYTE Publicatiom Inc 



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BYTE Interview. 



eign alphabets for international cor- 
respondence, mathematical symbols, 
and other special characters. So there 
were some trade-offs. We didn't want 
to just keep jamming two of every 
key on the keyboard, so we decided 
what the priorities were and ended up 
being fairly close to the industry stan- 
dard. We have one Apple key, one 
Enter key, and two Option keys. 
BYTE: The user-interface design 
seems to have been difficult. 
Tesler: That was the hard thing that 
affected the most people. A lot of 
software and hardware engineering 
issues were very difficult, but they af- 
fected only a few people. Interface 
issues affected half the division 
because Training, Publications, 
Marketing, and the software person 
implementing the application all had 
an opinion. People like us who were 
overviewing all the applications had 
opinions, in-between managers had 
opinions, kibitzers on the side had 
opinions, too. Not everybody can 



talk about what gate to use in some 
circuit or what routine to use in some 
program, but everybody can talk 
about the user interface. So we had to 
accommodate all of these things. And 
it turned out that good ideas and 
good criticisms came from 
everywhere. We had to come up with 
some objective way to decide. That's 
why we established the methodology 
which involved user testing. We had 
a procedure for proposing changes, 
reviewing the changes, narrowing it 
down to a few choices, with certain 
criteria like consistency and par- 
simony. And then we actually im- 
plemented two or three of the various 
ways and tested them on users, and 
that's how we made the decisions. 
Sometimes we found that everybody 
was wrong. We had a couple of real 
beauties where the users couldn't use 
any of the versions that were given to 
them and they would immediately 
say, "Why don't you just do it this 
way?" and that was obviously the 



way to do it. So sometimes we got the 
ideas from our user tests, and as soon 
as we heard the idea we all thought, 
"Why didn't we think of that?" Then 
we did it that way. 
BYTE: Bruce, could you say 
something about the software archi- 
tecture? 

Daniels: There's an operating system 
underneath that we built ourselves 
because we felt that the ones that 
were out there didn't quite meet our 
needs. 

BYTE: What does yours do that 
others don't? 

Daniels: It's not just what it does, but 
what it doesn't do. Some other 
operating systems are basically 
timesharing systems like Unix that 
have a lot of features that we don't 
need, and why take up extra space for 
that? We wanted a system that the 
user didn't have to be experienced to 
understand, and it had to be very 
reliable. It had to maintain the user's 
data and keep it there. It also had to 




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BYTE Interview! 



support things like graphics, the win- 
dows that we have on the screen, the 
mouse, and so forth. We didn't really 
find an operating system that met our 
needs, so we felt we had to go build 
our own. We built the other features 
on top of this — the support for the 
windows, the support for graphics, 
the support for multiple fonts, the 
support for printing. It's really quite a 
rich architecture. At least half of the 
software is in this foundation soft- 
ware. 

BYTE: How large is that in bytes? 
How much code is in that foundation 
software? 

Daniels: Well, source code is 
something like 10 megabytes. 
Tesler: Object code is about half a 
megabyte. 

BYTE: That's what's there before you 
put the application programs in — half 
a megabyte? 
Daniels: Yes. 

BYTE: After you specified the user in- 
terface, what list of hardware re- 
quirements did you come up with? 
Rosing: Well, the main list that was 
specifically user interface would be 
the bit-mapped graphics display and 
the resolution of approximately 700 
pixels across in the horizontal dimen- 
sion, the mouse, and the doorless disk 
drives with the eject button rather 
than an eject handle. They deter- 
mined a lot of the hardware design. 
We had other user-interface con- 
siderations, though. We wanted to 
make the system very easy for its 
users to service — I presume you've 
seen it break apart. Servicing really is 
simple. It took a moderate amount of 
extra product cost to get that feature 
in there. And that's a part of the even 
more global user interface, how 
people perceive the whole system. 
BYTE: Why did you choose the 68000 
microprocessor and what alternatives 
did you consider? 

Daniels: We thought its architecture 
was very broad and strong and would 
take us through the '80s, and we 
wanted that. We wanted something 
to support the graphics, and we 
thought that processor gave us what 
we needed then. The 68000 was a bit 
of a gamble because it was very 



young when we got on it. We were 
getting one sample at a time from the 
local Motorola engineer here. 
BYTE: Do you think the 68000 will be 
the dominant processor in the next 
few years? Is it going to overcome the 
8088, the 8086? 

Rosing: I would speculate that for 
high-end applications with very 
computer-intensive, graphics- 
intensive needs, the 68000 will 
become dominant. 

Daniels: But the 8086 has such an in- 
stalled base going already, I think 
that alone would carry it. . . 
Tesler: You mean numbers of actual 
units with the 68000 in it, or the 
number of different products? 
BYTE: Both of those questions. 
Tesler: Well, we're putting 68000s in 
the units well sell, so that will mean 
more units with 68000s. We expect to 
sell a lot of machines. 
BYTE: You've got a 68000 machine 
with a lot of memory in there, and 
not too much special-purpose hard- 
ware. Why did you decide to do it 
that way instead of using some ver- 
satile hardware chips, like the NEC 
7220, for video display? 
Daniels: We're very much boosters of 
bit-mapped graphics, and in fact 
hardware support for bit-mapped 
graphics is pretty small. All you need 
is sort of a shift register. We thought 
the flexibility that would give us in 
graphics and the things we could do 
in user interface with bit-mapped 
graphics was well worth the price. 
BYTE: But doesn't the 7220 have bit- 
mapped graphics itself? 
Rosing: Well, there were a couple of 
practical considerations. The NEC 
7220 didn't exist when we designed 
Lisa, although we knew it was 
planned. The second consideration 
was that the 7220 cost more than the 
TTL [transistor-transistor logic] hard- 
ware needed to implement the 
equivalent functions. And the third 
consideration was this: because we 
were able to interleave the memory 
and display cycles, we were able to 
essentially get data out of the 
memory at very little penalty. Using a 
7220 would actually cost con- 
siderably more in terms of system 



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MetaCard 



BYTE Interview. 







performance. And there was one 
more consideration: with the 7220, 
you can't access the display memory 
bank when the chip is refreshing the 
CRT, and that limits the time you can 
access it to about 10 percent of what 
we have, which would drastically af- 
fect performance. We can access 
memory any time. For equivalent 
performance, we would have to use 
two 7220s, and that would push the 
cost and the "real estate" beyond what 
we have. 

BYTE: On the other hand, software 
doesn't get written overnight. . . 
there's a certain cost to that. You 
know, this is very software-intensive. 
Rosing: Most of the software that 
supports the graphics took three 
years to write, but no hardware in the 
world can duplicate what that soft- 
ware does. 

BYTE: Really? The software is faster 
than the hardware? 



Rosing: No, not always faster. 
BYTE: Its functionality is greater? 
Tesler: Yes. The graphics package lets 
us draw circles, rectangles, ovals, and 
rectangles with rounded corners. It 
also automatically handles clipping 
on nonrectangular boundaries. If you 
have one object over another, you 
can draw the one behind without 
splashing the pixels on top of the one 
that's in front. That's a . . . 
BYTE: A software revolution? 
Tesler: A very unusual capability, 
which no one else has in that general 
form. The other implementations are 
all either very, very expensive hard- 
ware—the $100,000 class — or in soft- 
ware, which isn't really that general 
and performs much much worse. 
There's nothing in the same class as 
our software as far as capability and 
speed. Of course, there is graphics 
software that's faster and hardware 
that's faster, but it doesn't have 



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anywhere near this capability. 
BYTE: Do you have a Xerox Star here 
that you work with? 
Tesler: No, we didn't have one here 
We went to the NCC when the Star 
was announced and looked at it. And 
in fact it did have an immediate im- 
pact. A few months after looking at it 
we made some changes to our user in- 
terface based on ideas that we got 
from it. For example, the desktop 
manager we had before was com- 
pletely different; it didn't use icons at 
all, and we never liked it very much. 
We decided to change ours to the icon 
base. That was probably the only 
thing we got from the Star, I think. 
Most of our Xerox inspiration v 
Smalltalk rather than Star. 
BYTE: What does Lisa have that tl 
Star doesn't have? 
Tesler: We're talking about graphics 
capability. You originally asked why 
we didn't use graphics hardware. Our 
graphics primitives in software are 
more general than the Star's, so 
they perform better. We have a faster 
and more general ability to draw on 
the screen a picture of multiple 
graphical objects in different shapes, 
to have one window that uncovers 
another, and to repaint just the parts 
that are uncovered. 
Daniels: Look at the desktop 
managers of the Star and Lisa. With 
the Star, you can only put them at 
fixed places on the screen so you 
know they don't ever overlap. On 
ours, you can put them any place you 
want. It's that generality that allows 
us to have arbitrarily shaped things 
and covering each other up and . . . 
BYTE: Documents or forms, shapes, 
or anything. . . 
Daniels: Yes. 

Tesler: Right. We have curves in it. 
Everything in the Star, you'll notice, 
is really rectangular, and our things 
can have curved edges and that sort 
of thing. 

BYTE: Another hardware question: 
How many microprocessors are in the 
machine, what are they, and what do 
they do? 

Rosing: Let's see. One to scan the 
keyboard, in the keyboard housing 
proper; a second one that receives the 



108 February 19*3 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 94 on inquiry card. 



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sales tax. 

Circle 470 on inquiry card. 




BYTE Interview. 



keyboard commands and keys up 
mouse events; the 6504 that controls 
two floppy disks; a Z8 microproces- 
sor in the hard-disk controller — it's an 
intelligent controller; and then, of 
course, the 68000. That's five. 
Tesler: Almost every major chip 
manufacturer except for one. 
Rosing: And with only one exception 
all our I/O (input/output) cards have 
microprocessors. 

BYTE: You say that the magnetic 
read/write head in the disk drive is 
microprocessor-controlled in order to 
let it be more sensitive to variations in 
the alignment. Is that the 6504? 
Rosing: Yes. 

BYTE: What is the microprocessor 
that handles the keyboard and the 
mouse? 

Rosing: That's a National COPS. We 
tried to pick the processor that we felt 
was best for each particular job. 
BYTE: The memory is 64K-byte 
chips? 
Rosing: Yes, 64K chips. 



Tesler: On the memory we have pari- 
ty and. . . 

BYTE: What part of the memory is 
video memory? 

Daniels: Some area in the main 
memory can be the video. 
Tesler: Any area at all. In fact, if you 
noticed yesterday in the demonstra- 
tion, when we're developing soft- 
ware, we need debugging information 
to be displayed for the programmer, 
but we don't want it to come out on 
the same screen that the user is seeing, 
so we had this magic toggle we were 
hitting that flipped between two 
screens. There are really two different 
areas of memory with a bit map in 
each. The software can switch bet- 
ween the two to display each in turn. 
BYTE: But they're within the main 
memory? 

Tesler: Yes, absolutely. Anywhere in 
memory. Take any number of con- 
secutive bytes and say that's the bit 
map. 
BYTE: Is anything else in main 



Oat?'S 



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memory, or is the rest of it all avail- 
able to the user? Is anything else 
mapped to the memory? 
Tesler: Oh, I see what you're say- 
ing—the shared memory. Shared 
memory with I/O is not main 
memory. The I/O memory is in the 
I/O cards. 

Rosing: It's not in the memory, but 
it's accessed like main memory, from 
the 68000 bus. 

Tesler: It's in the address space, but 
it's not in those 64K chips. 
BYTE: A certain address is really an 
I/O port, is that right? 
Rosing: Yes; it's the top physical ad- 
dress of the 68000. 
BYTE: Did you consider voice as part 
of the user interface? 
Rosing: Yes. We looked at it pretty 
hard and at one time in the early 
system we actually had a CVSD- 
based voice subsystem in the com- 
puter, and we took it out because we 
didn't feel it achieved the quality we 
wanted to have associated with this 
system. 

BYTE: What does CVSD mean? 
Rosing: Continuously Variable Slope 
Delta modulation. It's much easier to 
say alphabet soup. We've thought 
about voice; it's part of our network 
architecture and will appear in the 
future, but only when we feel the 
technology's right so we can be proud 
of what we offer. 

BYTE: That's both input and output? 
Rosing: Right. We look at voice as 
being three problems. There's store 
and forward, which is just moving 
voice messages around, like a glori- 
fied answering machine. Second is 
text to voice; and third, of course, is 
voice recognition, or voice to text. 
The last one's the hardest of all, but 
we look at voice technology as 
something we have to approach in a 
unified way. 

BYTE: What about the program- 
mable serial ports? What chip is used 
there? 

Rosing: They use the Zilog SIO. That 
was one of the last major changes we 
made in the hardware design. We did 
it because we had two high-speed 
ports with less board space, and the 
Zilog SIO chip supports asyn- 



110 Febroary 1983 © BYTE Publications lnc 



Circle 414 on inquiry card. 



&4IK MMK ISA 





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1 MP/M is a trademark ot Digital Research 



Circle 252 on inquiry card 



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



all reps: Price changes on following 
ms effective immediately: 
i. 10-111A; 10-114A; 10-AL. 



Take that. bud. tAnd retaliate fast. 
I know phone rates are low now. but 
games cutting into sack time.) 



i^ 




Your computer's telephone. 

/iiii \/fi, fs 

A, Ait J. 





^iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii mJ 



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




And Hayes is providing the commun- 
ications link: A first-rate telecomputing 
system thatcombines an intelligentRS-232 
connect modem with a sophisticated, 
easy-to-use communications program. 

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



rdi iu uu. a lew ijluuv jxcyauuj 

mYou can store leng 
Hayes' 




BYTE Interview. 



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

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




And now Smartcom II is available for 
the IBM PC**and Xerox 820-irf. 

Like all our products, Smartcom II 
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So see him today. Link up to the excit- 
ing world of telecomputing. Get a tele- 
phone for your computer. 

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

Smartcom II is a. trademark of Hayes Microcomputer 

Products. Inc. 

'Trademark of American Telephone and Telegraph 

* * IBM is a registered trademark of International Business 

Machines. Corp. 

tXerox 820-11 is a trademark of Xerox Corporation 

©1983 Hayes Microcomputer Products. Inc. 

Sold only in the U.S.A. 



Circle 194 on inquiry card. 



chronous as well as byte-sync and bit- 
sync protocols. We felt that made a 
heck of a lot more sense for the 
customer as the world evolves 
toward X25-type packet trans- 
mission. We didn't want to make the 
customer buy an I/O card to upgrade 
from async to bit-sync. We have only 
three I/O slots, so we're careful not to 
waste them on things we can put in 
the main machine. 

BYTE: Both serial ports can be bisyn- 
chronous? 

Rosing: Yes; they can be programmed 
any way. 

BYTE: And can this SIO function as a 
UART? 

Rosing: Yes. A UART/USART com- 
bination. 

BYTE: When did you know that you 
were going to have half a megabyte as 
standard memory? When did you 
know how much you were going to 
need? 

Daniels: It's always been a backward 
sort of thing. We had the capability 
for a full megabyte in the machine, 
and it was more a case of how much 
memory we needed to achieve our 
goal. 

Tesler: The sales force wanted it to be 
128K; the programmers wanted a 
megabyte. We negotiated. 
Rosing: Since we were writing the 
code we got the megabyte. 
Tesler: So the hardware people made 
it as big as they could in the address 
space, and then after some testing of 
the system we determined that half a 
megabyte was a reasonable compro- 
mise of cost and performance. 
BYTE: Do you expect the standard 
memory on other manufacturers' 
machines to jump dramatically after 
the appearance of Lisa? 
Tesler: Well, apart from its impact on 
cost, I don't think the amount of 
memory is a critical factor in deciding 
what machine you want to buy. If 
you're an end user, you should be 
buying a machine based on what it 
does for you, how easy it is for you to 
learn, how easy it is to use. Whether 
it has 12 bytes or it has 12 megabytes 
doesn't really matter to the end user, 
which is our marketplace. We're not 
selling the machine primarily to pro- 



grammers who might care about that. 
End users have no idea which systems 
have more memory or less memory 
or one megabyte or one hundred 
thousand bytes. If other manufac- 
turers are trying to match Apple, they 
should try to match us on ease of use 
and functionality and things like that. 
If they can do it in a small amount of 
memory, more power to them. 
BYTE: Doesn't it matter when you're 
doing something like dictionary soft- 
ware or when you want to read a dic- 
tionary into memory fast and proof- 
read a document very fast? 
Tesler: Yes, there are certain func- 
tions where it definitely makes a dif- 
ference. We have that in our Lisa 
Calc. In order to do rapid recalcula- 
tion, the whole matrix really should 
be in resident memory, so we spent a 
lot of time coming up with a data 
structure that packed that data as 
tight as possible so that it would get 
as many cells as possible into 
memory, no matter what size 
memory there was. 
BYTE: Your version of BASIC will 
use more than 64K? 
Daniels: Oh, yes. We could have put 
less memory in it, but the perfor- 
mance would have been unaccep- 
table. Unfortunately, some com- 
panies advertise machines that have 
less memory than anyone would ever 
reasonably buy. We haven't tried to 
do that here. 

BYTE: You didn't use less memory 
and fewer disk drives than would 
really be effective, and so on? 
Daniels: Yes, and I think when you 
look at the typical configurations that 
people buy of other machines, the 
cost is really not that different from 
the kind of costs we're talking about 
for Lisa. If the other machines get 
loaded up with disks and memory 
and the other kinds of things you 
want to run, then their prices will be 
comparable. 

BYTE: When you decided you had to 
have hard-copy graphic output that 
accurately represented the quality of 
the screen graphics, what choices did 
you consider before you did this 
amazing adaptation of a $600-5700 
printer? 

February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 113 



Circle 35 on inquiry card. 




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BYTE Interview! 



Rosing: A wide range of options were 
being discussed, all the way from 
thermal printers to laser printers. We 
tried to identify what's critical in the 
marketplace. We thought there were 
two printers of first priority: a per- 
sonal printer and one with letter 
quality. At the same time our sister 
division, the Apple II— III division, 
was evaluating the same two sets of 
printers. So we teamed up and did a 
survey of virtually all the printers 
that were available from every 
manufacturer who would have the 
volume capability to serve our needs. 
We did an extensive test and put 
about eight dot-matrix printers 
through their paces with really tough 
software. Quite a few of them just fell 
right off the table — it was clear that 
the quality wasn't there. Certain ven- 
dors were also much more responsive 
to fixing problems. So it really boiled 
down to two printers. Then, as we 
developed our printer software, the 
one we're using now — the C. Itoh — 
just far and away stood out as having 
the best mechanical design. You 
could put the dots where you wanted 
them repeatedly, and that's what we 
needed more than anything else in the 
world — good mechanical design. 
Rosing: And a good price. Same for 
the letter-quality printer. 
BYTE: The printer you are using is 
from C. Itoh, but it's your own ROM 
and your own systems software that 
drives the printer through the ROM. 
Rosing: Correct. 

BYTE: What else can you tell us 
about the printer, especially the dot- 
matrix? 

Daniels: Mechanically it's just a raster 
device. 

Tesler: A character generator is built 
into it; it has some capabilities. It 
has a single type style that can be 
stretched horizontally and vertically 
as it's printed, and it has what they 
call a graphics mode. They thought 
that would be used lightly, but it's 
what we use almost exclusively. And 
even within the graphics mode, there 
are two resolutions, low and high. 
High resolution is a lot slower. We 
wanted to offer the user all these 
choices. 



114 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



BYTE: So this is a custom design for 
you. . . custom changes? 
Tesler: Custom changes I would say, 
yes. 

BYTE: Did you say it sometimes 
prints out in character mode? I 
thought all of its printing when you 
were controlling it was using the 
highest resolution. 

Daniels: I think all the stuff you saw 
was done at high resolution. 
BYTE: For speed you can go to a dif- 
ferent mode? 

Tesler: Yes; we're planning to offer 
the customer a way to get a quick 
draft using the character generator. 
Characters won't look quite the way 
they will in the final version, but you 
can get output in a hurry. 
Rosing: The printer will have three 
different speeds and three different 
quality levels. 

BYTE: Do you have an idea where 
you're going next? 

Rosing: We have what feels like ten 
years' worth of backlog. We have a 
pretty good idea what we're going to 
do for the next few years. 
BYTE: What's that? 
Rosing: The thrust is to expand the 
level of integration within the ap- 
plications and to add facilities to 
make it easier for more applications 
to be written outside of Apple. 
BYTE: Those facilities are the 
development toolkit? 
Rosing: Yes. The development toolkit 
is a key thing. And for a large part of 
the marketplace, adding network ap- 
plications and data communications 
is very important. Last but not least is 
adding really serious database func- 
tionality to the system. If you add all 
that up, it's as big a task or bigger 
than what we've just done. 
Daniels: In fact, almost as important 
as the team building that we've gone 
through is building up this founda- 
tion that we've used to create the six 
applications we've now built. The 
foundation is an amazing application 
machine. We and others outside Ap- 
ple can build applications that are just 
amazing now, because no one has to 
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The new IBM Instruments Computer System: 




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Unusual flexibility 
Attractive price 

A new dimension in small computers. 



In its price range, the new IBM 
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For scientific, engineering and general 
computing applications, including instrument 
control and data acquisition, data analysis and 
communications, no other computer is like it. 

The IBM Instruments Computer System 
is based on the highest performance general 
purpose processor available. Modular design 
permits you to select a configuration to meet your 
present needs exactly. Provision for continuing 
enhancement and upgrading is built in. 




The inside story 



Basic working memory 
is exceptionally large. When 
expanded fully, the IBM 
Instruments Computer System 
has up to 5 megabytes of 
working memory. 

You'll find more standard 
communications ports and more 
connection modes than on other computers at or 
near the price. The optional integrated Analog I/O 
card further enhances connectability. 

You'll also find a priority interrupt driven 
system with 32 levels of interrupt and 4 direct 
memory access channels. 



The outside story 



This is a computer that people find simple 
to understand and easy to use. Up to three 
interface modes (two programmable keypads and 
a keyboard) provide a wide range of choices for 
interacting with the system. Operation is from 

Circle 202 on Inquiry card. 



menu or by simple direct command. 

The system provides integrated high 
resolution graphics on a CRT. Hard copy is 
supplied by an optional high resolution 4-color 
printer/plotter using plain paper. These high 
levels of resolution are standard from IBM 
Instruments, extra on others. 

Optional diskette and disk drives provide 
up to 44 megabytes of on-line storage. 

A real-time, multitasking operating system 
and a wide range of programming support 
enhance the usability of the system. 

The value story 

The IBM Instruments Computer System 
can grow easily; you can add options yourself. 
Your initial investment is protected. 

Starting at $5,695, this system gives you 
outstanding power, capacity and performance for 
the money. 



SPECIFICATIONS, IBM INSTRUMENTS COMPUTER SYSTEM 



Processor 

• 68000 8-MHz 
Working Memory 

• Up to 128K bytes of 
ROM 

• 128K bytes of RAM 
expandable in 256K 
increments up to 5 
megabytes 

Disks and Diskettes 

• Up to 4 Diskettes, 
5W-322K bytes or 
8"-l megabyte each 

• Up to four 5V4" 
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disks. 5 or 10 
megabytes each 



*Trademark of Motorola, In 



Communications 

• RS232C— 3 ports 

• IEEE-488bus 

• Parallel I/O 

• VERSAbus* 
compatible system 
bus 

• Analog I/O card 
Printer/Plollrr 

• 4-colors 

• Up to 200 cps 

• 200 x 336 dots/inch 

• Full dot pattern 
control for graphics 
plotting 

Display Screen 

• 12" adjustable 

• 80 characters x 
lines 



:30 



• 768 x 480 dots 

• Memory mapped 
Keyboard and 

Keypads 

• Full alphanumeric 
keyboard plus 10 
programmable keys 

• Up to 57 
programmable soft 
keys on processor 

• 10 programmable soft 
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Programming 

• BASIC/FORTRAN/ 
PASCAL assemblers 

• Utilities/Diagnostics 

• Chromatography. 
FTIR and other 
application programs 



We'd like to tell you more about it. 
Simply call 800-243-7054. In Connecticut, 
call 800-952-1073. IBM Instruments, Inc., 
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y-^-== Instruments 

= irE. Inr* 



The Enhanced VIC-20 

Part 1: Adding a Reset Switch 



Joel Swank 
12550 SW Colony #3 
Beaverton, OR 97005 



Most microprocessor chips have an input pin called 
Reset. When an electrical zero or ground is applied to this 
pin, the microprocessor clears all internal registers and 
starts a preselected sequence of initialization instructions. 
That's how a microcomputer begins operation when you 
turn it on. Most microcomputers also have a Reset switch 
that enables the operator to apply the zero signal to the 
Reset pin to restart the computer. Unfortunately, the 
Commodore VIC-20 does not. 

The VIC has a restore function that is activated by 
pressing the Stop/Run and Restore keys at the same time, 
but it doesn't use the 6502 microprocessor's Reset line. In- 
stead, the Restore key is connected to a 6522 VIA 
(versatile interface adapter) that is programmed to inter- 
rupt the 6502 microprocessor each time you press the 
Restore key. The 6522 is connected to the 6502's NMI 
(nonmaskable interrupt) line. When the VIA interrupts 
the microprocessor, the program being executed stops 
and the VIC NMI interrupt-handling routine takes con- 
trol. This routine checks to see if the Stop/Run key is de- 
pressed and, if it is, executes the warm-start routine. If 
the Stop/Run key is not depressed, the original program 
continues. In normal operation, this method of resetting 
the VIC works fine. When a program runs astray, you 
just press Stop/Run and Restore to recover. Any BASIC 
program in memory is preserved, and all parameters 
(screen color, sound, input/output devices, etc.) are reset 
to default values. 



Editor's Note 

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



For the restore function to work, the VIA must be pro- 
grammed properly. If the errant program has inserted 
random data into the VIA registers, the restore function 
will not work. There's another problem: the 6502 can 
enter a state in which the NMI has no effect. In this 
"hung" state, the 6502 performs no operations. You rare- 
ly encounter it when you use BASIC programs, but if you 
try to develop any machine-language subroutines, it 
could happen often. In both of the above cases the restore 
function does nothing. The only way to recover is to turn 
the VIC off and back on again, thereby erasing any data 
or programs that are in memory. A Reset switch can 
reinitialize the VIC without turning it off while preserv- 
ing anything in memory. 

Installing the Switch 

You can implement a Reset switch for the VIC by add- 
ing two wires and a switch. Figure 1 shows the schematic 
diagram for the VIC Reset circuit. Normally, the 555 
integrated circuit (IC) timer on the VIC board is used to 
generate a 3-second low pulse on the Reset line at power- 
up. The switch serves to temporarily connect pin 2 of the 
555 (the trigger input) to the ground line. That causes the 
555 to repeat the pulse, which completely resets the VIC 
system without losing the data in memory. (Note: mak- 
ing this modification to the VIC will invalidate your war- 
ranty, so you might want to wait until it has expired.) 

The Reset circuit requires one normally open SPST 
(single-pole, single-throw) push-button switch and two 
6-inch lengths of stranded insulated hookup wire. To in- 
stall the circuit, you'll need a 25-watt or smaller soldering 
iron. Do not use a 150-watt soldering gun; it will destroy 
your VIC's printed-circuit (PC) board. Be sure to use only 
rosin core solder. You'll need a pair of wire cutter/strip- 
pers and a pair of small needle-nose pliers. To mount the 



118 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



wgm 



THE GIANT KIUEB 




Vanquishes The High Cost Of Plotters 



Small, smart and cost effective, the 
DMP-40 single-pen plotter puts big- 
plotter power at the command of the 
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can create colorful SV2 x 11" arid 11 x 
17" graphics— images of professional 
quality for starid alone use, binding 
into reports or as overhead tranjs- 
parancies for group presentations. 

Circles, arcs, ellipses and general 
curves are automatically generated by 
robust internal firmware, freeing you 
and your computer from wasteful 
low-level' busy work. 

By plotting in increments of only 
0.005", you are assured of virtually 
step-free traces. The result is pre- 
cisely defined graphics of high * 
accuracy and solid repeatability. 



Standard RS-232-C interfacing 
matches the DMP-40 to all current 
computers. . 

Multicolor plots pn the DMP-40 
are a simple matter since built in 
firmware and most commercial soft- 
ware provide 'pause' commands for 
pen changing. 

These and more big-plotter capa- 
bilities are yours at small-plotter 
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For the name and location of your nearest 
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1.5M 
-W>- 



;im 



RESET 
SWITCH 



X 



0.1/iF 



+ 5V 

id 



+ 5V 



RES V CC 
TH 
OCH OUT 



NE555 



TR 



GND 



m 



1 



3 5 



*^ 7406 



:ik 






•-O RESET 



Figure 1: A circuit diagram for the Reset switch, which has been 
added between pins 1 and 2 of the 555 1C timer. 






switch in the case, you'll need a Vi-inch electric drill and 
drill bits. A small vise to hold the switch while soldering 
would be handy. You will also need a small Phillips 
screwdriver to disassemble the VIC. 

First disconnect the power cord and any peripherals 
that are connected to the VIC. Then turn the VIC upside 
down and remove the three Phillips screws in the bottom 
front of the case. Turn the VIC back over and lift the top 
front of the case. It should separate from the bottom and 
hinge on some hooks at the rear of the case. You will see 
two sets of wires that connect the top and bottom of the 
case; these connect the main PC board in the bottom of 
the case to the keyboard in the top. The group of 18 wires 
on the left is for the keyboard. The wires must be discon- 
nected at the connector on the PC board. Gently work 
loose this connector to reveal a row of square posts. The 
two wires on the right are for the power LED (light- 
emitting diode). They must also be disconnected from a 
connector on the PC board. When both sets of wires are 
disconnected, remove the top of the case and put it aside. 

Let's take a look at the VIC board. Two versions are 
currently in use. The original version, made in Japan, 
was produced under an FCC waiver that allows it to emit 
substantial RFI (radio-frequency interference). A small 
printed notice over the game input/output (I/O) port 
states this waiver. The newer VICs, which are produced 
in the United States, have sufficient shielding to meet 
FCC regulations. Their PC boards are also arranged dif- 
ferently. I have one of the older models, so I'll approach 
it first. 

On the older versions of the VIC, the right side of the 
PC board is almost completely taken up by the power 
supply and heat sink. On the far right are the connectors 
for the power cord and the game I/O. At the right rear is 
the housing for the expansion slot. The left side is taken 
up by the ICs that make up the VIC computer. The two 
40-pin ICs in the left rear corner are the two 6522 VIAs 
that the VIC uses to communicate with external devices. 
Just in front of them are the two 24-pin ROMs (read-only 
memories), which contain the machine-language routines 
that make up the VIC control program and BASIC. In 
front of them is the 6502 microprocessor that controls the 



120 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 135 on Inquiry card. 



QDP-300 



The peace of mind computer. 



Introducing our third generation computer . . . 
the all-new QDP-300. Now, you can rest assured 
you've found the most advanced microcomputer 
on the market today. The QDP-300 is a user- 
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It uses CP/M* and MP/M* operating systems that 
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*CP/M and MP/M are trademar 
of Digital Research Corp 




Photo 1: The V1C-20 circuit board. The Reset switch, shown at 
left, has already been installed in the American version. (Photos 
by John M. Hannan.) 




Photo 2: A close-up of the VIC-20 circuit board. The Reset 
switch is connected to pins 1 and 2 of the 555 IC timer next to 
the lower left-hand corner of the perforated metal box. 



entire system. At the rear center is the 24-pin ROM that 
contains the VIC character-set patterns and the 40-pin 
6560 video-interface chip (hence VIC) that controls the 
output to the TV. In front of the 6560 are the ten 2114 
RAMs (random-access read/write memories) that make 
up the VIC's 5K-byte standard memory. The rest of the 
ICs on the board are the TTL (transistor-transistor logic) 
chips that perform the address decoding and interface 
between the larger ICs. 

Photo 1 shows the newer version of the VIC, which has 
the power supply, expansion slot, and game I/O on the 
right side. It has additional metal shielding over the 
power supply as well. The ICs on the new version are re- 
arranged. The 6502 microprocessor and the two program 
ROMs are located in the right front just below the power 
supply. The RAMs are located in the front left in two 
rows. The character-set ROM is just to the right of the 
RAMs. The 6522 VIAs are located in the left rear corner. 
The 6560 and the rest of the TV circuitry can be found in 
the center rear covered by a metal box. The 555 timer is 



located at the left of this metal box. 

You will install the Reset switch at the center of the far 
left end. To the left of the perforated metal box is the 555 
timer (see photo 2). With only eight pins, it is the smallest 
IC on the board. Connecting the Reset switch involves 
soldering wires to pins 1 and 2 of this IC. The 555 has a 
dot beside pin 1. The pins are numbered counter- 
clockwise from pin 1. 

Before you make any connections, you must take the 
PC board out of its case. Remove the screws in the cor- 
ners of the board, the two screws along the rear edge, and 
the screw along the front edge. The old version also has a 
black screw in the front center of the black-metal heat 
sink. Do not remove the two screws along the right edge. 
Once you've removed these seven or eight screws, the PC 
board should lift easily out of its case. If the area you're 
working in has any static electricity, make sure you 
discharge yourself by touching a metal object — a filing 
cabinet or table, say — before touching the PC board. 
Static electricity can destroy the delicate ICs on the VIC 
PC board. 

Place the PC board on a flat surface to install the 
switch. Strip about % inch of insulation off each end of 
the two 6-inch lengths of wire. Twist together the strands 
of the four exposed ends and tin them by melting solder 
into the strands — that makes them easier to solder to the 
board and the switch. Next, solder one end of each wire 
to one of the connections on the switch. Solder the other 
end of one of the wires to pin 2 of the 555 IC. Solder the 
other wire to pin 1 of the 555. When you solder the wires 
to the pins, get the connections hot enough to melt the 
solder, but be careful not to get them too hot. Excess heat 
can damage parts and cause traces to lift from the board. 
The key is to work as fast as possible. 

After you've made all the solder connections, you'll be 
ready to prepare the case for mounting the switch. You'll 
have to drill a hole through the left side of the case large 
enough to accommodate the neck of the switch. Because 
the VIC case is about Vi inch thick, you may have to 
countersink the hole (i.e., make it funnel-shaped) so that 
enough of the neck of the switch will fit through to fasten 
it. Locate the hole high enough from the bottom of the 
case so that the switch will not touch the PC board and 
close enough to the 555 so the wires will reach. Drill the 
proper size hole. If you need to countersink, use the point 
of a larger drill bit to partially increase the size of the hole 
from the inside of the case. After drilling the hole, make 
sure that the switch fits properly. Return the PC board to 
the case and reinstall the seven or eight screws that hold 
the PC board. Then insert the switch into its hole and 
fasten it securely. Reattach the two cables from the top 
half of the case. The cable on the left, for the keyboard, is 
keyed and will install in only one direction. The polarity 
of the LED cable on the right does not matter. Place the 
hooks in their slots at the rear of the case and gently close 
it. If the case is slightly warped, you may have to press 
down on the rear to get the hooks to engage properly. 
After you've closed the case, examine it on all sides to be 
sure that it has no gaps. Turn it over and reinstall the 



122 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




Transfers any file back and forth! 



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Listing 1: The Reset program, which will reset the first link field and end-of-program pointers. Starting at line 25, use the POKE 
command to enter the program. 



0001 
0002 
0003 
0004 
0005 
0006 
000? 
0008 
0009 
0010 

0011 
0012 
0013 
0014 
0015 
0016 
0017 
00 IS 
0019 
0020 
0021 
022 
0023 
0024 
0025 
0026 
002? 

0028 

0029 
0"^ 
0031 
0032 
nf!33 
0034 
035 
0036 
0037 
03ft 
0039 
004 
0041. 
0042 

004 3 

0044 



00 00 
0000 

oo on 
oooo 
o o o o 

0000 
0000 
0000 
0000 
0000 

033C 20 
033F i s 



0340 
0342 
0344 
0346 
034S 
034R 
0341": 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034D 
034 D 
034D 
034D 
034D 



C5 



R5 
69 

85 

R5 

69 

60 



02 
2D 

00 

2E 



PROGRAM TO RESTORE THE BASIC 
OF PROGRAM POINTER. 



END 



CALL WITH SYS 
CHAIN =*C533 
*=*33C 

JSR CHAIN 

CLC 

LDfl *22 
ADC #2 
STA *2D 
LDR *23 
ADC #0 
STl 
RT: 



;UIC LINE LINK CALCULATOR 

; ASSEMBLE IN TAPE BUFFER 

;FIND LAST LINK 

;ADD TWO TO GET 

;END OF PROGRAM 

;AND SAME IN END POINTER 

;ADD ZERO TO HI BYTE 

;IN CASE OF CARRY 

;SRUE IT 

; RETURN TO UIC 



POKE THE FOLLOWING DECIMAL UALUES INTO MEMORY 
STARTING AT 828 TO USE THE PROGRAM 



POKE 




7 


POKE 


829 


51 


POKE 


OT|-| 


19? 


POKE 


831 


24 


POKE 


'-' •-/ Jb 


165 


POKE 


833 


34 


POKE 


834 


105 


POKE 


835 


2 


POKE 


836 


133 


POKE 




45 


POKE 


838 


165 


POKE 


839 


35 


POKE 


84 


105 


POKE 


841 


i"i 


POKE 


842 


1*77 


POKE 


843 


46 


POKE 


844 


96 



. END 
ERRORS* 0000 



three screws in the bottom. You now have a Reset switch 
for your VIC. 

Memory Pointers 

You can use the Reset switch to recover when 
Stop/Run and Restore have no effect. Reset does not 
erase a BASIC program, but it does change two pointers 
in memory that VIC needs to find the program. One of 
the pointers that is altered is the link field in the first line 
of the BASIC program. Each line of a VIC BASIC pro- 
gram has a pointer to the next line. Reset clears the link in 
the first line so that the VIC thinks there are no 
statements in memory. Reset also changes the pointer to 
the end of the program. Both of these pointers must be 
restored to their proper values for the VIC to recognize 
the program that is in memory. 

The easiest way to restore these values is to use the 
PEEK command to examine them before you run the pro- 
gram and then write them down in case you need to use 



Reset. Then after you reset you can use the POKE com- 
mand to restore them and execute the BASIC CLR com- 
mand to reset the other BASIC pointers. Of course, 
chances are that when you have to use Reset you will not 
have thought to do this. It's possible to find the correct 
values for these pointers after the VIC has been reset. 

On a standard VIC the first link field is located at 
memory locations 4097 and 4098 (1001 and 1002 hex- 
adecimal). It is a 2-byte pointer to the beginning of the se- 
cond line of the program. The end-of-program pointer is 
at locations 45 and 46 (2D and 2E). Finding the end of the 
program involves following the chain of BASIC state- 
ment links to the end of the program. Fortunately, there's 
a machine-language subroutine in the VIC ROM that will 
reset the first link and find the end of the program. To 
help in executing this subroutine I wrote the Reset pro- 
gram shown in listing 1. The program calls the VIC ROM 
subroutine that recalculates the VIC statement links and 
leaves the last pointer in a temporary memory area. It 



124 Febniary 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 177 on inquiry card. 



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then increments this pointer by two and stores the result 
in locations 45 and 46 (2D and 2E). To use the Reset pro- 
gram, you must first enter it into an unused area of 
memory by using the POKE command. As shown in 
listing 1, it resides in the VIC tape buffer at location 828 
(33C), but it is relocatable and could be located in any 
spot you are sure will not be used. Use the POKE com- 
mand to enter the decimal value given in the listing (start- 
ing at line 25) into memory beginning at location 828. 
Next enter a nonzero value into the higher-order byte 
location of the link field with the command POKE 
4098,1. That lets the VIC ROM subroutine know that a 
program is in memory. Call the program with the BASIC 
SYS command SYS 828. Now initialize the rest of the 
BASIC pointers with a CLR command. The BASIC pro- 
gram is now fully restored and you can LIST it or SAVE 
it on tape. 



Note that you must not use any BASIC variables dur- 
ing the above procedure. Doing so will wipe out part of 
the BASIC program. And if you're using an expanded 
VIC, the location of the first link field is different. If you 
have only a 3K-byte expansion board or a Commodore 
Super Expander plugged in, the higher-order byte of the 
link is located at 1026 (402). If you have one or more 
8K-byte expansion modules, the higher-order byte of the 
link is at 4610 (1202). You can still use the above pro- 
cedure to find the correct link value by substituting the 
appropriate address. If you have changed the pointer to 
the end of BASIC memory at locations 55 and 56 (37 and 
38), Reset will restore it to the default value. 

The VIC Reset switch is a handy addition to. the 
VIC-20. It can save you hours of retyping a program. Us- 
ing Reset instead of the on/off switch will also save wear 
and tear on your VIC.H 



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BYTE's Bits 



Public-Domain 
Apple Graphics Routines 

One reason for the Apple II's popularity 
is the large amount of public-domain soft- 
ware available for it. Most public-domain 
software is rather modest stuff, but some- 
one occasionally donates an impressive 
piece of software that is easily good enough 
to be sold commercially. Such a piece of 
software (obviously a labor of love that 
reflects much work and talent) is David 
Shapiro's Dr. Cat's Grafix Disk. This is an 
Apple II floppy disk running under the 
DOS 3.3 operating system that gives the 
user a 5K-byte package of high-resolution 
Apple graphics routines, the source code 
for the assembly-language routines (in 
Apple DOS Tool Kit format), some docu- 
mentation, and a lot of enjoyable demon- 
stration programs. 

David sees Cat-Grafix, as he calls them, 
as an alternative to the high-resolution 
drawing routines provided by Applesoft. 
The package has 25 major routines, each of 
which can be called from BASIC or 
entered via an optional set of ampersand 
routines (e.g., &HIRES). The routines in- 
clude both color and black-and-white ver- 
sions of subroutines that plot points, draw 
lines, outline or fill boxes and circles, scroll 
the high-resolution screen, and draw char- 
acters from a user-defined character set 
onto the high-resolution screen. 

The disk and associated software are in 
the public domain and can be used as part 
of another program (commercial or other- 
wise) if credit is given to Cat-Grafix. The 
disk is currently being distributed through 
Apple user groups and can be copied with- 
out limitation. If you cannot get this disk 
through these channels, it can be ordered 
from: 

David Shapiro 
Pepperland Software 
POB 5158 
Bloomington, IN 47401 

Please send an Apple disk, a check for $8, 
and a stamped, self-addressed return 
envelope with sufficient postage and card- 
board protection for the disk. 

I think that Cat-Grafix is one of the most 
impressive sets of graphics routines for the 
Apple that I have ever seen, and the price is 
certainly right. David is to be commended 
for his decision to give this software away. 
I hope that his efforts will persuade other 
hobbyists to share their work. 
Gregg Williams 
Senior Editor! 




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Allow 2-3 Weeks for Delivery 
February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 127 






Announcing new educational courseware 

for microcomputers to improve your child's 

Basic Skills, High School Skills or Foreign Language vocabulary. 



\ .jipC^ 



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NOW. PLATO Basic Skills. 
NOW. PLATO High School Skills. 
Both for use with TI 99/4A.* 

Control Data and Texas Instruments are 
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Control Data's PLATO Basic Skills is a com- 
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Control Data's PLATO High School Skills 

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*For Basic and High School Skills pricing and order 
information, write: Texas Instruments, Education 
Department, Box 53, Lubbock, TX 79408. 



Foreign Languages for 
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Three lessons each for French, 
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to shop for food, clothing, etc. 

Classroom Words: Children 
study the French, Spanish or 



to the school environment. 
*Available March 30 

Lessons Available 
For Apple II Plus, 
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Basic Number Facts: Practice 
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Whole Numbers: Practice in 
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Decimals: Practice locating 
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Fractions: Same skill level and 
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Mechanics: Students are 
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French, German, Spanish 
Vocabulary Builders: Gives 
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For a free copy of our PLATO 
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Diego, CA 92126. In California, 
call 800/233-3785. 

Circle 121 on inquiry card. 




CONTRpL DATA 
PUBLISHING 



PLATO 

COMPUTER-BASED EDUCATION 



The World of Standards 

The process for producing standards 
is full of checks and balances. 



As our civilization grows more 
complex, the need for standards in- 
creases at an amazing rate. Without 
thinking in terms of standards, we are 
accustomed to asking for a specific 
weight of oil for our car, film of vary- 
ing speeds for our cameras, tires of a 
certain size, and certain kinds of elec- 
tric light bulbs, electric sockets, ex- 
tension cords, etc. Standards are vital 
to our daily lives. As consumers, we 
have become dependent upon stan- 
dards and would not tolerate the in- 
convenience incurred by a lack of 
standards. 

Standards are such an integral part 
of our daily lives that we are often 
oblivious to their existence and 
therefore do not always appreciate 
their value. As we understand the 
role played by standards in our daily 
lives, it becomes easier to understand 
why a need for standards arises. 
When this need in a particular area 
becomes acute, the next logical step is 
to convene a committee interested in 
the subject to develop a standard. 

Standards organizations exist to 
provide a framework so that stan- 
dards that represent a consensus can 
be developed and approved. 



Much of this material has been adapted from 
The World of EDP Standards, 3rd edition, by 
R. D. Prigge, M. F. Hill, and]. L. Walkowicz. 
(Blue Bell PA: Sperry Univac Corporation, 
1978). Used by arrangement with Sperry 
Univac. 



Chuck Card 
2192 Buckboard Circle 
Warrington, PA 18976 

R. Donald Prigge 

418 Sassanqua Dr. 

Georgetown, SC 29440 

Josephine L. Walkowicz 

National Bureau of Standards 

Building 225 

Washington, DC 20234 

Marjorie F. Hill 

34 South Lanvale Ave. 

Daytona Beach, FL 32014 



History 

In the early part of our century, the 
general need for standards was fairly 
widespread, and as a result, several 
organizations were founded to 
develop standards in a variety of 
areas. Therefore, when the first sug- 
gestions were made that standards 
should be established in the field of 
computers and information process- 
ing, there already existed mature and 
well-established organizations 
available to accept that responsibili- 
ty. On the international scene, the In- 
ternational Organization for Standar- 
dization (ISO) authorized the forma- 
tion of Technical Committee 97 
(Computers and Information Process- 
ing) and Technical Committee 95 (Of- 
fice Machines). These two commit- 
tees have now merged into Technical 
Committee 97 (Information Pro- 



cessing Systems). In the United 
States, the American National Stan- 
dards Institute (ANSI) assigned to the 
Business Equipment Manufacturers 
Association (now the Computer and 
Business Equipment Manufacturers 
Association, or CBEMA) the respon- 
sibility for forming the corresponding 
American National Standards Com- 
mittees X3 and X4, which have since 
merged into Committee X3 (Informa- 
tion Processing Systems). X3 now has 
responsibility for all of ANSI's 
computer-related standards (see 
figure 1 for a chart of the X3 
organization). 

Meanwhile in Europe, the Euro- 
pean Computer Manufacturers Asso- 
ciation (ECMA) was formed, and by 
mid-1961, the standardization effort 
for computers and information pro- 
cessing was well underway. 



Objectives 

While the names and relationships 
of these organizations can be confus- 
ing, the objectives of all the interna- 
tional and national standards bodies 
are so similar that they can be 
thought of as carbon copies of each 
other. Basically these objectives are 
development, promulgation, and 
establishment of standards; coordina- 
tion of standards development; and 
exchange of information. 

At the technical level the objective 
is the development of a standard for a 
specific product or process. 



130 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Here's what your 

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Emboldening 



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Underlining 



Labeled and 

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Automatic page and 
section numbers in 
headers and footers 





Natural- i>, ; e'o*s;s*.& sv:-:-!\ as f or.es. i i'irfsa: 

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o«otF'»?;*>a,Uii :thib'-,3i'r-; Saoe/aM. tw .fcy~ ; '' 
jru uO's. of nv. bt u? Hnd 1 f ret' 



shcwt- ■ the .''os;«aH3' Ssd 
itlfifitfft local poilutioi 

»ires*jy ■ ftfr'tst. distant 
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Fv?:«'MS .Of pfVU-piUi* 



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eHbftr ■: ■ ,$ar: ; - ' 

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■ life.: tfiKK! feaptes'aii is !; 'the 'wa;fe!-; : - can." 
r;6t deoomMs* the' weste, widespread'.' 
aquatic fi-o-atb' resui t3." __^^^**""' 



' wheis . jjewag* . : earry i«g ■ Uses'e-' ■aactftj-ia . 
e^.er. a. : Tivaf ; or stream. Thw*' uutro^es 
icay, :■■ Spreai! ' 'i'r;ffi«ti*«' ' >epa tt tis. '.Or 
.typrioi:'! fever,'., esfieciaiy ,iri riit'sl ajid. 
urban ■ ■ fd.v ai-as . hr<-i ! ■■ ptpulat iOi 
^Mitj is- High afid : pyfei'i;&-«tt-ii'ti.Vu : 



!.'a£- JUx. .SiSitl!t8flllB&a*2 . 



• iv :..:•.<.- 



■ &.1,.?-. Mutrient.s. . Th«s 
sWrisn ,,'plari-t 'life',; ^ 

■ prates «jft-. fairs tea; are./ profit 
stHSa-ge; . Indus tviiU'. wastes, '; 30$ V *oil 

'ers>3i'or:.. Thft-y. iro .'not' ' r.'eKyved : ;>y treat-' 
.'merit ep.ntera m.d' s4y ;. : ina«verter,.tiy S«. 
changed into a'''n=!3i*f : wsari.e siMrral- form . 



: &■-'.$. Sjtj',iwS.U> -^eiiacsLs. ....l>et.^£-gai:is': 
&(ni- ..pestioifies'riffe^t water, Ther.e s&y 
i- : : a pG&t.t6i.i:ity' -of '.IiiJsaJV pMaCTU^: 
over Ubs*.- -A&sorpUdft- generally foUoww. 

this fc-'r-BHii „,__ ..iC* 



■dust, (ilM, ankAe, and- fly ' 
: : aa.fif : Tftes*. 'isay 'soli $ur«" 
fieea, '. ■.<3'i'*ti ! abii be: : ■-..Light- . 



>■>< 



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trior/*; ■ .pflrisR-Jtic ■ . ssfifrifeatins'ii 
dl^c-iissfed : &art'J'ef-i IP any. «v^r>t 

Wili «'t i*» . : ar» a^mifiatit. ■ 



Multi-line 

headers and 

footers 

- Automatic section 
numbering and table 
of contents 



— Automatic 
hyphenation 



Subscripts, 

superscripts, and 

overstrikes 



Automatic 
footnote placement 



EDIX + WORDIX gives you 
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BYTE February 1983 131 



Membership and Finance 

The membership base of standards- 
making bodies varies somewhat, but 
in genera], at the international level, 
the members represent nations. At 
the national level, individual mem- 
bers represent interests of consumers, 
producers, and general-interest 
groups. 

Membership in standards organiza- 
tions is restricted in the sense that 
each organization establishes cate- 
gories and balance for membership 
but is open-ended in respect to the 
number of members. In the ISO, 
membership is restricted to the stan- 
dards organization most represen- 
tative of each nation. ANSI 
represents the United States in ISO, 
and therefore, no other standards 
organization based in the United 
States can hold membership. (Other 
standards organizations are subtly 
restrictive on the basis of technical in- 
terest, product produced, or similar 
categories.) 

Although many international and 
national organizations derive their 
operating revenue from membership 
dues and the sale of standards, others 
are wholly or partially supported by 
their governments. Several national 
standards organizations have ex- 
tended their activities to include a cer- 
tification program, which contributes 
to their income. Most of the organiza- 
tions important to computer stan- 



ANSI 



CBEMA 



X3 



TECHNICAL 



HARDWARE 



SPARC 



COMMITTEES 



SOFTWARE 



SYSTEMS 



Figure 1: Structure of the American National Standards Committee X3 for Information 
Processing Systems. The abbreviations stand for the following: ANSI, American Na- 
tional Standards Institute; SMC, Standards Management Committee; CBEMA, Com- 
puter and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association (the secretariat to X3); IAC, 
International Advisory Council; and SPARC, Standards Planning and Requirements 
Committee. 



dards are self-sustaining nonprofit 
organizations. 



Technical Committees 

Within a standardization organiza- 
tion, technical committees are 
chartered to develop standards in an 
assigned range of interest. Because 
this charter generally covers a broad 



technical area, a technical committee 
may work simultaneously on several 
overlapping or independent technical 
areas within its assigned responsibili- 
ty. A technical committee may also 
need to establish liaisons with tech- 
nical committees of other standards 
organizations or within the same 
parent organization. 

Most technical committees have an 



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132 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Z 89 80 CP/M® or H/DOS $2075 

Z-89-82 CP/M®or H/DOS 2115 

Z-90-80CP/M® or H/DOS 2115 

Z 90 82 CP/M®or H/DOS 2299 



Advertised prices reflect a cash discount on 
prepaid orders only. Most items are in stock 
tor immediate delivery in factory sealed cart 
ons with full factory warrantees. 



-TERMINALS- 
ADDS 

Viewpoint $529 

HAZELTINE 

Esprit 429 

Esprit II 515 

Esprit III 1350 

1420 589 

1500 845 

1520 1350 

Executive 80-20 Save! 975 

INTERTEC 

Intertube III 725 

SOROC Call! 

TELEVIDEO 

910 $559 

912 659 

920 719 

925 719 

950 899 

X tra Page Memory 80 

WYSE100 749 

ZENITH 

Z-19 639 

ZT-1 549 

-PRINTERS- 

ANADEX 

DP9500 $1290 

2K Buffer 80 

9501 1290 

9620 1475 

CENTRONICS 

704 9 Ser $1519 

704 11 Par 1569 

730-1 Ser Save/ 299 

730-3 Ser 479 

7371 Par 689 

C.ITOH 

Prowriter8510A Par $425 

Prowriter 8510A Ser 595 

Star-writer F10 Par 1370 

Starwriter F10 Ser 1370 

Prtntmaster F10 Par 1785 

Printmaster F10 Ser 1785 

CITOH Starwriter FIO-Tractor. 200 
Prowriter II Call 

DIABLO 

620 RO 25CPS $1275 

630 RO 40CPS 1949 

Tractor 275 

EPSON 

MX 80 $440 

MX80FT 520 

MX 100 715 

Serial RS232 w/2K 120 



INTEGRAL DATA SYSTEMS 

Prism 80 Basic $750 

Prism 132 Basic 1075 

Prism 80 Package 1299 

Prism 132 Package 1465 

Prism 80 All but color 1065 

Prism 132 All butcolor 1260 

Paper Tiger 445G 599 

Micro Prism 639 

NEC 

3510 $1515 

3515 1540 

3530 1650 

7710 2295 

7715 2395 

8023 465 

OKIDATA 

80 

82A 



$300 
.395 



83A 639 

84S 989 

84P 989 

Tractor for 80/82A 50 

SMITH-CORONA TP 1 .... Call 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS 

Tl 810 Basic $1289 

TI810VCO/Full 1549 

Tl -820 RO Basic 1545 

Tl 820 KSR Package 1739 

-MONITORS- 

AMDEK 

100G 141 

Color I 310 

Color II 649 

Color III 419 

300G 149 

BMC 

Green Phos $99 

SANYO 

9"Green Phos $159 

12"Green Phos 209 

13"Color 439 

ZENITH 

Z-121 115 

-HARD DISKS - 

CORVUS 

5MB $2555 

10MB 3995 

20MB 4795 

'Please specify what type of computer used 
Mirror Backup 629 

MAEZON 

5Mg $2235 

10 Mg 2760 

15 Mg 3020 

CP/M»s100 75 



-MODEMS- 
HAYES 

Micro Modem 100 279 

Micro Modem II 279 

Smartmodem 300 215 

Smartmodem 1200 520 

Chronograph 199 

NOVATION 

4102D 300/ 1200 $269 

DCat 145 

Apple Cat II 310 

Nov 212 1200 Baud 549 

-SOFTWARE- 
ASHTONTATE 

D Base II $593 

COMPU View 

V-Edit 125 

MICROAP 

Select III 155 

Selector IV 245 

Selector V 455 

Glector 245 

MICAH 

CP/M2X 225 

Expand 85 

MICROPRO 

Supersort 1 165 

Supersort II 155 

WordStar 295 

Mailmerge 115 

DataStar 245 

CalcStar 225 

MICROSOFT 

Z 80 Soft Card 295 

Apple 16K RAM Card 165 

Edit 80 85 

Macro 80 165 

Basic 80 275 

Bascom 305 

Fortran 80 335 

Cobol 80 565 

Softcard Premimum Pack 625 

MICRO TECH CALL 

OSBORNE 

Business Pack 285 

General Ledger 59 

Payroll. Cost Accounting 59 

Aces Payable 'Aces Receivable 59 

SORCIM 

Supercalc 225 

BLANK DISKS Call for prices 
-MEMOREX. MAXELL. 
SCOTCH. VERBATIM- 

If you can't find what you 
need listed here, just call for 
the best prices on the items 
you require. 

N.Y. residents, add appropriate sales tax. 
Shipping is not included (unless otherwise 
stated) CO D s require a 25% deposit. All 
prices and offers may be changed or with- 
drawn without notice. 



ISO/TC 97 MEMBER COUNTRIES 




TC97 


PLENARY 








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ol 82 06 16 



OBSERVER 



P* SECRETARIAT 



Figure 2: The ISO/TC 97 is the technical committee for information systems. The member countries belong to one or more of the 
various standards committees (SC) under the technical committee. Each member country has the option of participating in a principal 
or an observer role. Additionally, some members may serve as secretariat of a standards committee. 



organizational structure similar to 
that of the parent organization and 
have a quota of administrative and 
advisory groups to supervise the pro- 
gress of the technical work. 

Most of the developed countries 
take an active part in the develop- 
ment of standards. Some elect to 
monitor the international develop- 
ment work, which is then evaluated 
in terms of their national require- 
ments. Australia and Denmark are 
examples of this type of participation. 
It is also common practice for some 
national organizations to adopt the 
International Standards developed by 
the ISO Technical Committees (see 
figure 2 for a list of the member coun- 
tries in ISO Technical Committee 97). 

Development of a Standard 

Standards development is based 
upon cooperation and consensus of 
the parties involved regarding tech- 
nical content. This may require many 
changes in wording to effect a com- 



promise, as well as many material ad- 
ditions or deletions. The ultimate ob- 
jective is to produce a standard for 
which consensus can be achieved. 

The philosophy of consensus im- 
poses a responsibility upon the 
organizations within which standards 
can be initiated, developed, and ap- 
proved: the organizations must 
develop a process, methods, and 
operating procedures that will 
guarantee that a consensus has been 
reached. 

In the United States, ANSI recog- 
nizes only three methods for the 
development of evidence of consen- 
sus for approval of American Na- 
tional Standards: the Accredited- 
Organization Method, the Canvass 
Method, and the Standards-Commit- 
tee Method. All methods have the 
same objective, i.e., to develop 
evidence of consensus of interested 
parties for approval of a proposed 
standard. Any individual or any 
organization may propose a standard 



for approval and, in so doing, may 
specify any one of the three methods. 

Accredited-Organization Method 

Any organization involved in stan- 
dards work may seek accreditation 
from ANSI. As an accredited 
organization, it may submit proposed 
American National Standards to 
ANSI for approval. 

To be accredited, an organization 
must have a procedure fox develop- 
ment of consensus comparable to that 
required under the Standards 
Committee Method. 

When the proposed standard has^ 
been approved within the accredited 
organization, it is sent to ANSI for 
approval as an American National 
Standard. 

Canvass Method 

When a standards-making 
organization or any other responsible 
organization has existing or draft 
standards it wants to have considered 



134 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 479 on Inquiry card.- 



PGS 



Princeton 
Graphic Systems 



High Resolution RGB Color Monitor 
Designed for the IBM Personal Computer 



FEATURES 

□ 80 characters x 25 lines 

□ 690 dots horizontal resolution 
D 16 colors 

□ .31 mm dot pitch tube 

□ non-glare, black matrix 

□ plugs directly to IBM PC 



$795 




Princeton Graphic Systems' new HX-12 high resolution color 
monitor is designed with an NEC .31 mm dot pitch CRT to give you 
up to 690 dots horizontal resolution. You need not compromise the 
display quality of your system with monitors rated at less than the 
640 horizontal dots generated by your IBM PC. The PGS HX-12 
delivers 16 supercolors, 80 characters x 25 lines. It is the best 
priced performance PC direct drive monitor in the market today. Get 
the PGS HX-1 2 and discover for yourself how well it complements 
your IBM Personal Computer. 



Princeton 
Graphic Systems 



1101-1 State Road □ Princeton, New Jersey 08540 □ (609)683-1660 □ TLX: 685 7009 PGS Prin 



Computer Exchange — The Supply Center for the IBM-PC 



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for the 
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* ASHIOK-TATE. dBase ((.'requires CP/M-86 S !28K 

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*PPUEO SOFTWARE TECHNOIOGt, Versalorm NO* 

DATAMOST. Real Estate Investment Program NEW! 

Write-On 
DEKVEB SOFTWARE. Easy |E»ecutive Accounting System) 
EAGLE SOFTWARE. Money Decisions - NEW! 

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INFORMATION UNLIMiTED. Easy-writer ti (a WPS) 

KEasysneKer (88K Words) 
Easyliler (a DBMS) 
Easy Planner 
N0VAT1VE SOFTWARE. T I M III (a DBMS) 

* INSOFT. Data Design (a powerful easy to use DBMS) NEW' 
ISA, Spell Guard 

ISN. MattieMagic 

Grsortmagic NEW) 

Matti/Graprimagie Combo NEW! 

(EXISOFT. Spellbinder la lersatile WPS in CP/M-86) 

* MICROCRAFT. Requires CP/M-86 8. CBASIC-86 

Legal-Bill! \> & lime Bilieeping 
Professional Billing ft Time Keeping — Billtieeper 
■¥■ MICRO LAB. The Tai Manager 

-* MICROPRO, WordStar* plus free WordStar Training Manual 
MailMerge™ 
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3 Pali. Word ft Mail S Spell; above 3 



MICROSOFT. Flight Simulator (by Sub-Legicl 
NOREtl. Visualize 

Easy Data DBMS 
NORTH AMERICAN 8KS. SYSTEM. The Answer 
P8L CORPORATION. Personal Investor 

* PEACHTKEE, Peach Pa* i (fit, AR ft AP) 
PERFECT SOFTWARE. Perfect Writer • » 

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SELECT INFO. Select |»WPS| 
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SuperWnter 
SYNERGISTIC, Data Reporter 

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LIST 

PRICE 
$ 700 
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S 389 
S 130 
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$ 760 
% 150 
$ 250 
S 350 
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S 400 
$ 250 
5 495 
S 225 
S 295 
S 90 
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S 160 
$ 495 

S 750 
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% 495 
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% 845 
S 50 
$ 100 
S 250 
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i 145 
S 595 
J 389 
S 189 
S 289 
S 595 
i 295 
S 395 
S 250 
J 250 
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$ 300 
$300 
$ 100 



UTILITY 



♦ CENTRAL POINT. Copy II PC. bit copier & utilities NEW! S 40 

NAGY SYSTEM. Copv/P£, Backup Copier and Utilities S 35 

NOREIL DATA. System Backup, Bit Comer \ f 50 

NORTON. Norton Utilities, 14 powerful programs, 3 disks: J 80 

■■ Ml II I'll I II I !!■ 



ACORN. Lost Colony 'I 

AUTOMATED SIMULATIONS. Temple ol Apshai 

Oil Barons 
B80DERBUND. Apple Panic 
* CONTINENTAL, The Home. Accountant Phis 
DATAMOST, Pig Pen 

SpaceStnke 
DAVIDSON, the Speed Reader 
INFOCON. Deadline 

,7ork I or Zorx It or Zork III, each 
:,, Got! Challenge. 
■ Ulysses ft The Golden Fleece 
'Bt CORP:, Persona! Investor 
SENTIENT. Cyborg 
SIRIUS. Conquest or Call to Arms 
SPINNAKER, Snooper Troops, #1 or #2 ««tl 

- Story Machine or Face Maker 
STRATEGIC. The Waip Factor 
VERSA COMPUTING. Graphics Hardcopy System 



DISKETTES 



OUR 
PRICE 
S419 
S449 
$265 
$19 
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$545 
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S189 
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$395 
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$189 
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$445 
$ 35 
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S189 
$169 
$99 
$395 
$239 
$119 
$179 
$339 
5199 
$269 
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$179 
$199 
$219 
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CDC. 120 each. 5'a wilh ring, SS, SD (Apple, IBM, etc) 
12 each, 5'/., with ring, SS, DD (Apple. IBM, etc.) 
12 each. 5% with ring, SS, SD (H/P, IBM 320K, etc ) 
12 each 8", SS. SD 
10 each. SM with ring DS, DD (IBM) 

IBM. 10 each, i*. SS. SD (Apple, IBM. etc.) 
10 each. 5K, SS, DD (H/P, IBM 320K. etc) 

VERBATIM. 10 each 5 1 /.. with ting. SS, SD or SS. DO 

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KCMMICH 



MEMORY CHIP KITS. 64K addon to your memory cards 
tested and burned-in, 90 day warranty 

Combo Plus: 64K with async. port. 

Combo P|us, 64K with parallel port. 

ComboPlus, 64K w/asyrtc ft para. 

Combo-Plus. ti4K w/async. para & clock/ca! 

For above Combo Plus of 128K add $85. for I92K 

256K add S256 

BUY VALUE of the YEAR: 

C\f 64K RAM Card. I192K when lull) 

OMEA » 2 year warranty ■ ■$ 

- "* 192RRAMC8rd>2year*arranly $ 
CURTIS, PC Pedestal;" tor Display on PC $ 

9 Foot Cable for IBM Keyboard (extends 3' to 9') $ 

LjAV/ONG DSl 501 HjrrJ Disk, 5 Meg S 

MAYNARD, Floppy Drive Control Board 



LIST OUR 
PRICE : PRICE 
9 chips, 2O0NS, 
$ 
J 
$ 
$ 
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$ 69 

95 $359 
95 $359 
55 $395 
35 $429 
dd $192. lor 



395 

675 

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995 
195 
350 

525 

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& JI/^rV^CACT 64K RAM Card w/Parity, 
MIV/KvOUr I 128K RAM Card w/Parity 
256K RAM Card w/Panty 

64K RAM Chips'" $ 175 

TCCm3r InC. AtlinONE Board. 64K .;■.. $ 5«5 

..-- 128K. -*"• $ 735 

256K $ 975 

^QUADRAMco^AioN 

Quadboard, 64K, expandable to 256K, 4 function board $595 

Qdarjboard, 128K. expandahle In 25v6K. 4 Itinction board $ 775 

Qtradboard. 19/K, .-ipandable to 256|<. 4 function board $ 895 

.at. Quadboard. 256K. lour function board $995 

Microfa;er, Snap-on, 8K, Par/Par. Epson. »MEB. w/PSl $159 

Microfarer. Snap-on, «4K, Par/Par, Epson. HME64, w/PSl S 2.99 

Power Supply (or Miiiiotirer. |9V 25A), «PS1 .'/,-.: S 20 

TG PRODUCTS. Joystick $65 



$149 
$249 
$ 65 
S 4S 

$1495 
$165 
$259 
$395 
$659 
$129 

$415 

$535 



$435 
$565 
S635 
$670 
$145 
$235 
$ 15 
$ 49 



'*Qbtf «lue 



t>4K plus 

CP/M-80 operation 
$ 600' 5449 



Control Data or lancion 

DISK DRIVES. Double Sided 320K Same as now 

supplied with IBM— PC. Tested, burned-m and wilh 1 each $ 595 $249 

installation instructions. 90 day warranty by us, 2 or more $535 $239 



PRINTERS AND ACCESSORIES 

EPSON, See Epson section below 

NEC. Dot Matr«. 8023 Punter F/T $ 695 

STAR MICRONICS, 9<S Dot Matrix. lOOcps. 2 3K. Gemini 10" $ 499 

9x9 Dot Matrix, lOOcps. 2 3K, Gemini 1 5" $ 649 

APPLE COMPUTER. INC.. Silentype Printer tor Apple II $ 395 

IDS. Microprism 480. near letter quality, HOcps, 80 col $ 799 

Prism 80 Color, 200cps (all options-color, sprint, auto) $1795 

Paper Tiger, 440 w/Graphics and 2K Limited Special $1295 

LETTER QUALITY - DAISY WHEEL PRINTERS: 

OLYMPIA. ES 100 Printer/Typewriter, complete with all 

interlacing to the Apple II 
COMDEX. Comriter CR-1, RS232 Serial l/F, 200 wpm 
Comnter Tractor Feed tor CR-1 



$525 
$315 
$495 
S33S 
$699 
$1450 
$495 



$1295 
$845 
S 99 

SUPPLIES: Tractor Feed Paper. Ribbons. Heads, Qume Daisy Wheels ft Ribbons 



$1735 
$1199 
S 118 



EPSON PRINTERS & ACCESSORIES 

* MX80 F/T III. with Graftrax* S 745 $525 

MX100 F/T III. with Gralttax* $995 $695 

IBM PC !o Epson Cable $ 60 $ 45 

Apple Interlace and Cable lor MX80 or MX100 $ 95 $59 

Grappler+ by Orange Micro, specify printer $ 165 $119 

Apple Graphics Dump $ 15 $ 9 

Atari to Epson Cable $ 40 $30 

Other cables, interlaces, ribbons, heads and paper in stock Call 



8" CP/M-80 



BUSINESS I SYSTEM 
SOFTWARE 



♦ ASHTONTATE dBase II 

COMSHARE TARGET. Target PlannerCalc 
Maslerplanner 

PlannerCalc Applications Pkg. 
PlannerCalc Combo Pkg 
INFOCOM. Deadline 

Zork I or Zork II or Zork III or Starcross. each 
ISM. MatheMagic 
MICROCRAFT, Legal Billing ft Time Keeping 

Prof. Billing ft Time Keeping — Billkeeper 
f MICROPRO. WordStar • plus tree WordStar Training Manual 
MailMergt'" 
SpellStar 1 » 

3 Pak. Word ft Mail ft Spell. 3 above 
SuperSort 
OataStar 
CalcStar 

MICROSOFT^ 

BASIC Compiler 
COBOL 80 
BASIC-80 

muLisp/muStat-80 
MSort-80 
Edit 80 
Macro-80 
OASIS. The Word Plus (45.000 word verification) 
PEACHTREE. Magic Wand 

Series 4 GL, AR, AP or Inventory, each 
Series 8 GL, AR, AP, Inv. or Pay, each 
Series 9 Peach Text 
Series 9 Spelling Proofreader 
Series 9 Calc Mail List or Telecomm , each 
PERFECT SOFTWARE, Perfect Writer T " 
Perfect Speller 1 M 
Perfect Filer 



LIST 
PRICE 
S 700 
$ 99 
$ 325 
$ 50 
$ 125 
$ 60 
$ 50 
$ 100 
$ 750 
$ 750 
$ 495 
$ 250 
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$ 845 
$ 250 
$ 295 
$ 145 
S 275 
$ 500 
$ 395 
$ 750 
$ 350 
$ 200 
$ 195 
S 120 
S 200 
$ 150 
$ 500 
S 600 
$ 750 
$ 500 
$ 300 
$ 375 
$ 389 
$ 189 
$ 289 



OUR 
PRICE 
$419 
$ 39 
$225 
$ 40 
$ 65 
S 45 
$ 39 
$ 75 
$395 
$395 
$249 
S 79 
$129 
$395 
$169 
$199 
$ 99 
$199 
$325 
$295 
$545 
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$145 
$145 
$ 80 
$145 

Call 
$195 
$395 
$495 
$330 
$195 
$245 
$239 
$119 
$179 



MONITORS 



NEC. 12" Green 

12" Color, Composite 

SANYO. 9" B&W 
9" Green 
12" Green 

13" Color, Composite 
13" Color RGB 

ZENITH. 12" Green 

AMDEK. 12" Green #300 

13" Color I, Composite 

13" Color II, RGB. Hi Res (Ap. II. Ill ft IBM-PC) 

13" Color III. RGB. Commercial. (Ap. II. Ill) 

DVM. Color II or III to Apple II Interlace 

Note: Color II and III come with cable for IBM-PC. 



$ 249 
$ 450 
$ 190 
$ 200 
$ 260 
$ 470 
$ 995 
$ 150 
$ 200 
$ 449 
$ 899 
$ 569 
$ 199 



$159 
$349 
$149 
$139 
$199 
$349 
$795 
$119 
$159 
$359 
$799 
$469 
$175 



MODEMS AND 
TELE COMMUNICATIONS TERMINAL 

HAYES. Micromodem II (tor the Apple II) $ 379 $275 

Apple Terminal Program for Micromodem I! $ 99 $ 69 

NOVATION. Applecat II Modem $ 389 $269 

212 Apple Cat $ 725 $599 

HAYES. Stock Chronograph (RS 232) $ 249 $189 

Stock Smartmodem (RS-232) $ 289 $225 

Smartmodem 1200 (RS 232) $ 699 $535 

Micromodem 100 (S- 100 bus) $399 $275 

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136 BYTE February 1983 



tOW PRICES TO Ph , : WHO KNOW WHAT THEY WANT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT. 



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BYTE February 1983 137 



Standards Are Volatile 

You might think that an official 
standard is as stable as a mountain. 
Most standards are in fact more stable 
than Mount St. Helens but not as 
stable as Gibraltar. ANSI brings up 
standards for review every five years, 
when they may be reaffirmed, revised, 
or withdrawn. If the responsible com- 
mittee does not act, the standard 
automatically dies. Sunset laws ap- 
peared in standardization before they 
appeared in government. 

Revisions to the editorial content of 
the standard specification are the most 
common; technical changes are more 
rare and must be treated as if a new 
standard were in development, with all 
the necessary meetings, documents, 
etc. 

The constant review process protects 
both computer-product vendors and 
users from technological stagnation 
caused by fixed standards. But conse- 
quently, the standard's name must 
carry a date, which becomes very sig- 
nificant if changes are made. For in- 
stance, FORTRAN programmers must 




be aware of the changes made between 
the 1966 FORTRAN standard and the 
1977 revision of the language 
(American National Standard 
X3.9-1978). 

Because major changes in a standard 
might prove to be detrimental to both 
industry and consumers by making 
items obsolete, some standards are 
stabilized through the process of 
registration. When a standard is 
registered, as for instance the ASCII 
(American National Standard Code for 
Information Interchange) character 
set, an entry is made in the broadly cir- 
culated standards registers. When 
changes are made to the character set 
standard (as happened in 1977 and 
may happen again in 1984), the new 
entries will be placed in the same stan- 
dards registers while the original entry 
remains unchanged. In this way, 
several versions of a standard can exist 
at the same time. Using this method 
helps to avoid repeating the entire 
standardization process when there is a 
need to make changes. 



as American National Standards, it 
can use the Canvass Method. In this 
event, the group takes a canvass or 
mail poll of all organizations that are 
known to have concern for and com- 
petence in the subject. 

The organization proposing the 
standard becomes the sponsor and is 
responsible for preparing the canvass 
list. Generally, a six months' time 
limit is placed upon responses to the 
poll. 

When the canvass ballot period 
closes, the sponsoring organization 
must submit all pertinent documenta- 
tion to the standards-approving 
organization. This documentation in- 
cludes the standard being proposed, 
the canvass list, the comments re- 
ceived, and the sponsor's responses to 
adverse comments. For example, 
these materials would be sent to 
ANSI, and futher processing as an 
American National Standard pro- 
ceeds. The programming language 
Ada has recently progressed through 
this method. 

Standards Committee Method 

The Standards Committee Method 



is the one best known to the comput- 
ing industry. It is used when one or 
more organizations have developed 
or are developing standards on the 
same or related subjects. 

The method described here is the 
ANSI version. However, the funda- 
mental principles are identical to 
those at the international and local 
levels. As an example, the factors ap- 
plied to the decision to form a stan- 
dards committee are the same in 
ANSI as in ISO. Additionally, the 
ANSI responsibilities in establishing a 
Standards Committee, watching its 
progress, and acting upon its output 
are identical to those of the com- 
parable ISO councils. 

The Standards Committee Method 
consists of a secretariat (admin- 
istrative-support group) and a stan- 
dards committee embodying a bal- 
anced representation of consumers, 
producers, and general interests. In 
many cases, a sponsor may also be in- 
volved. 

The terms secretariat and sponsor 
are often used synonymously, but 
each has a distinct place in the stan- 
dardization process. The secretariat 



plays an important role in the effi- 
cient functioning of the standards 
committee. While a secretariat is 
always associated with a standards 
committee, a sponsor need not be. 
The secretariat organizes and ap- 
points officers to the standards com- 
mittee and generally handles all of the 
administrative work for the standards 
committee. The relationships of stan- 
dards organizations and secretariats 
can be confusing at times, as each can 
fulfill several roles. As examples, 
CBEMA was authorized by ANSI to 
act as the secretariat for American 
National Standards Committee 
(ANSC) X3, and ANSI itself holds 
several ISO secretariats, among 
which is that for ISO/TC 97. 

A sponsor, as defined by ANSI, is 
"an organization or group which 
assumes responsibility for develop- 
ment and publication of its standard 
and subsequently submits it to the in- 
stitute for approval under any of the 
methods covered in these proce- 
dures." As an example, the American 
Society for Testing and Materials acts 
as a sponsor of ASTM standards 
when these are proposed as American 
National Standards. By this defini- 
tion, CBEMA cannot be a sponsor 
because it does not develop its own 
standards. 

Standardization Process 

Regardless of the method used to 
submit a proposed standard, the ob- 
jective of the approval process is to 
confirm that consensus has been 
reached. Within this process, four re- 
quirements must be met: all substan- 
tially concerned parties must have an 
opportunity to express their views, 
and these views must be considered; 
significant conflicts with other 
American National Standards must 
be resolved; consideration must be 
given to existing national and interna- 
tional standards; and evidence of 
compliance with ANSI procedure 
must be shown. 

The process to accomplish all of 
this occurs in three phases. 

1. Planning: A standard is proposed, 
and a judgment is made as to its 
value to the industry. A committee 
is authorized to accomplish the 



138 February 1983 © BYTE Publkatioiu Inc 



PHASE 1 - PLANNING 


















PROJECT 
PROPOSAL 




SPARC 




SPARC 
STUDY GROUP 




SPARC 




X3 




1. LOG 

2. REVIEW 
3 INITIATE 

STUDY 


DOCUMENT 
FEASIBILITY 
AND NEED 


I REVIEW 

STUDY 

REPORT 
I RECOMMEND 


1. REVIEW 

2, VOTE BY . 
LETTER 
BALLOT TO 
AUTHORIZE 




^ J 




















PROJECT 




PROJECT 






1 


1 














' ! 








X3 & TC's FOR 




TC's & X3 OBSERVERS 






INFORMATION & COMMENT 




FOR INFO/COMMENT 






PHASE II - OEVELO 


PMENT 
















TC 




TC 




TC 




TC 




SPARC 




1 COLLECT 


1 DRAFT 


1 RESPONSE 






1 WORK PLAI\ 




DATA 


«•»» 


PROPOSED 
STANDARD 




TO 
COMMENTS 




REVIEW 
OBJECTIONS & 










2 SKELETON 




2 SUCCESSIVE 








2 dpANS SUB 






RECOMMEND 




STANDARD 




DRAFTS 




2 TC LETTER 
BALLOT 




MITTAL TO 
X3 






X3 ACTION 












. 












, 




















■ 












TC MEMBERS 




TC MEMBERS FOR VOTE, 


IF NO 






ECMA, ISO 




X3. SPARC, TC's FOR COMMENT 


OBJECTION 
1 






PHASE III - AF 


PROV 


AL 










' 










X3 




TC 




X3 




SECRETARIAT 




ANSI 




1 ACCEPT FOR 


DRAFT 


30 DAY DEFAULT 


1 DOCUMENT 


1 REVIEW THE 






PUBLIC 
REVIEW 




RESPONSES 
TO ANY 




APPROVAL 
OF RESPONSES 


— *■ 


HISTORY OF 
PROCESSING 




PROCESSINC 










2 CONCURRENT 




PUBLIC OR 




AND/OR 








2, APPROVE 






LETTER 




BALLOT 




CHANGES TO 




2 SUBMIT TO 










BALLC 


)T 




COMN 


ENTS 




STAN 


3ARD 




ANS 






3 PUBLISH 








1 

'UBLIC FOR COMMEN1 








2nd PUBLIC REVIEW 










X3 MEMBERS FOR VOTE 






IF STANDARD CHANGED 















Figure 3: The standardization process is divided into three stages: planning, develop- 
ment, and approval. This flowchart depicts the milestones in each stage, beginning with 
the project proposal to SPARC (Standards Planning and Requirements Committee of 
ANSC X3), through the appropriate technical committees (TC) and ANSC X3 (Ameri- 
can National Standards Committee for Information Processing Systems), culminating 
with submission to the secretariat and finally to ANSI. 



work, and a public announcement 
is issued to that effect. 

2. Development: A committee is 
formed (or assigned) to develop 
the standard or standards. When 
work is completed, the proposed 
standard is transmitted to the ap- 
proving body. 

3. Approval: Approval is obtained 
through the hierarchical structure 
of the approving body, and the 
standard is published. 

See figure 3 for an example of these 
phases in the ANSC X3. To satisfy 
the commitment to consensus, each 
phase includes requirements for 
balanced representation, distribution 
of information, and approvals. If this 
is a national standard effort, the 
liaison and joint participation re- 
quired for developing an interna- 
tional standard are also found in each 
phase. 

Planning Phase 

Any standardization organization 
may consider a request to establish a 
standards committee for a particular 
subject. The request is forwarded to a 
technically oriented advisory authori- 
ty within the standardization 
organization. In ANSI, the Executive 
Standards Council assigns the subject 
to a Standards Management Board. 

In evaluating the request for initia- 
tion of a standards committee, the 
foremost consideration is that those 
concerned with the subject have an 
opportunity to express their views. 
For this purpose a general conference 
may be convened, a poll may be 




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February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 139 



taken to determine interest in the sub- 
ject, or a research study may be 
undertaken by an ad hoc study 
group. 

When the decision has been made 
to form a standards committee, ap- 
propriate notices are issued to the 
press and interested parties are en- 
couraged to participate. The Stan- 
dards Management Board then ap- 
points a secretariat for the committee. 

Development Phase 

The work of the standards- 
development committee culminates in 
the transmittal of a proposed stan- 
dard to the cognizant authority. This 
is preceded by a ballot to verify that 
consensus has been reached. If only 
one subject was assigned to the com- 
mittee, the committee ceases to hold 
meetings but remains ready to pro- 
cess the comments generated during 
the approval phase of the proposed 
standard. It should be noted here that 
if any changes must be made in the 
technical content as a result of a 
ballot, the proposed standard is 



returned to the standards-develop- 
ment committee. 

Approval Phase 

The approval phase begins when 
the secretariat receives the proposed 
standard with the request that it be 
processed as a national or interna- 
tional standard. The secretariat first 
determines that all the required 
documentation has been submitted 
and then distributes the document for 
review prior to taking, a formal 
ballot. If comments are received dur- 
ing the balloting process, these are 
forwarded to**he development com- 
mittee for resolution, and the pro- 
posed standard may then be returned 
to the secretariat for review. The 
nature of the comments (substantive 
or editorial) determines whether the 
next step will be further changes or 
transmittal to the next higher level of 
authority. 

The proposed standard now enters 
the stage where processing will be 
completed to make it a national or in- 
ternational standard. From this point 



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on, no decisions are made on the 
technical content; the total emphasis 
is on the evidence of consensus. 
When the existence of consensus has 
been validated, the standard-develop- 
ment cycle is complete. The proposed 
standard is then published in its en- 
tirety, or a notice is published in- 
dicating that the standard is avail- 
able. 

Operating Procedures 

An understanding of the operating 
procedures of various standards 
organizations provides one of the best 
avenues to an understanding of the 
total process of standardization. It is 
here that you can best appreciate the 
checks and balances that constitute 
the development of a standard and 
come to understand the slow, 
laborious, and frequently frustrating 
delays, which to an outsider seem un- 
warranted but which are part of the 
process. 

Basic to the process of standardiza- 
tion are the ballot procedures and 
member involvement. Both of these 
are indispensable to achieving con- 
sensus. 

ANSI Voting Procedures 

Let's examine the important voting 
process in detail. The voting period 
for the letter ballots of a standards 
committee is six weeks from the date 
of issue. The results of the ballot re- 
main confidential to the secretariat 
and the committee officers until the 
ballot period closes. 

When the ballot period closes, the 
secretary of the standards committee 
forwards the ballot tally to the chair- 
man of the standards committee, who 
determines whether consideration of 
unresolved negative votes and com- 
ments shall be by correspondence or 
by a meeting of the standards com- 
mittee or subcommittee involved. 

(Often, committee members vote 
"no" on a given ballot because of 
minor objections to either the pro- 
posed standard or its specifying docu- 
ment. A simple clarifying statement 
in the standard can change a "no" to a 
"yes"; the vote is said to have been 
resolved. ) 

If technical changes must be made 
to resolve negative votes, these 



140 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 137 on inquiry card. 



changes must be submitted to the 
standards-committee' membership 
within the four-week period given for 
responses. Those who voted in the af- 
firmative must either reaffirm their 
vote in the light of any substantive 
changes or cast a negative vote. If 
negative votes cannot be resolved, 
these must be reported to the mem- 
bership of the standards committee, 
with the reasons given for the nega- 
tive votes. Each voting member, on 
receipt of unresolved negative votes 
and comments from those balloted, 
must indicate whether or not this af- 
fects his original vote. The final result 
is recorded and reported to the 
secretariat and to the membership of 
the standards committee. 

At this point, the secretariat may 
use its discretion as to whether the 
proposed standard is ready to be sub- 
mitted for ANSI approval. If at least 
two-thirds of the standards commit- 
tee members voting have approved 
the standard, it is mandatory that the 
proposed standard together with the 
necessary exhibits be submitted to 
ANSI. If this is not done by the 
secretariat within one calendar month 
of the ballot closure, one or more of 
the members of the standards com- 
mittee may offer the proposed stan- 
dard for approval. 

When the proposed standard 
reaches ANSI it is examined by the 
staff to determine that the documen- 
tation required has been forwarded 
and that evidence of consensus exists, 
just as was done when the proposed 
standard was submitted to the 
secretariat for a ballot by the stan- 
dards committee. 

The proposed standard is now sub- 
mitted to the vote of the Board of 
Standards Review, which requires an 
affirmative vote of not less than two- 
thirds of the full board, taken by 
written ballot. 

Documents 

The names of the standards 
documents will give you a clue to the 
stages in the standardization process. 
As the documents containing a pro- 
posed standard specification move 
through the standardization process, 
the changes in document names in- 
dicate the level of acceptance the 




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Febniary 19*3 © BYTE Publications Inc 141 



standard has attained. The following 
names are used: Working Draft or 
Preliminary Draft, Proposed Draft or 
Proposal (proposals submitted for a 
technical committee ballot), Draft 
Standard (a Proposed Draft that has 
received the approval of the technical 
committee for publication), and Stan- 
dard (a Draft Standard which has 
received all the necessary approvals 
for adoption as a national or interna- 
tional standard). 

Member Responsibilities 

All standards-committee work is 
accomplished by volunteers selected 
from the ranks of the member 
organizations. At the technical-com- 
mittee level the individual must be 
technically competent in the subject 
and function as an independent "ex- 
pert." In addition, the participant 
must become cognizant of all facets of 
the subject other than his own specific 
area of expertise in order to under- 
stand the viewpoints of other mem- 
bers. This is an essential requirement 
for obtaining consensus. 

In addition to their professional 
positions within their organizations, 
participants must plan to spend a 
fixed portion of their own time on 
standards-committee work as well as 
allocate time to inform their own 
organizations on standards. A de- 
tailed knowledge of international 
protocol is essential so that a 
technical committee can function 
properly in the international environ- 
ment. 

International Standardization 

International standards are becom- 
ing increasingly influential in world 
trade. Multinational companies find 
that differing national technical re- 
quirements have joined trade tariffs 
as significant factors in worldwide 
marketing because they may require a 
company to produce costly and un- 
necessary variants of a product. 
Development of international stan- 
dards helps resolve these technical 
barriers to trade. 

While it is neither desirable nor in- 
tended that international standards 
should be applied with the force of 
law, the policy of legislating by 
"reference to standards" is becoming 



more and more frequent as 
technology develops and trade ex- 
pands. The effective implementation 
of the "reference-to-standards" 
technique requires that legislation 
and regulations be drafted in the form 
of general requirements that contain 
references to a standard or a group of 
standards, which, in turn, provide 
more detailed explanations of the 
general requirements, as well as il- 
lustrations of the means of meeting 
the requirements. 

If all standards originated at the na- 
tional level and moved in an orderly 
fashion to the international level in 
one organizational structure, few 
complexities would exist. However, 
standards originate in many areas 
and from many organizations and 
thus involve liaisons with many other 
organizations. The international or- 
ganizations best known to the com- 
puting community are the ISO, the 
IEC (International Electrotechnical 
Commission), and the Comite Con- 
sultatif International Telephonique at 
Telegraphique (CCITT) of the Interna- 
tiona] Telecommunication Union (ITU). 

Conclusion 

International standardization pro- 
vides the solution to the problems of 
diverse national standards, the pro- 
tection of consumer interests, and the 
elimination of trade barriers. 

Throughout history, whenever a 
need for a standard was recognized, 
the interested parties either formed or 
designated an organization through 
which the process of developing stan- 
dards could take place. Now the 
development of standards is a vast 
worldwide activity that could almost 
be classified as an industry in itself. 

Simply put, a standard is a solution 
to a problem. It is not too surprising 
then that as our problems get more 
complex, the process of finding a 
solution also increases in complexity. 
Thousands of individuals are in- 
volved in standardization work for 
the computer industry alone, and the 
work they do affects all of us. 
Perhaps the information in this article 
will help you better appreciate the im- 
portance of standards and the stan- 
dards process to our technological 
world. ■ 



Where to Obtain 
Standards Information 



ACM Standards Committee 
Association for Computing 

Machinery 
11 West 42nd St. 
New York, NY 10036 

American National Standards 

Institute 
1430 Broadway 
New York, NY 10018 

Computer and Business Eqii 
Manufacturers Association 
(CBEMA) 

X3 Secretariat 

Suite 500 

311 First St. NW 

Washington, DC 20001 

Electronic Industries Associ; 
Engineering Department 
2001 Eye St. NW 
Washington, DC 20006 

IEEE Computer Society 
POB 80452 

Worldway Postal Center 
Los Angeles, CA 90080 

IEEE Service Center 
445 Hoes Lane 
Piscataway, NJ 08854 

Information Handling Services 

Product Management Departme 

15 Inverness Way E 

POB 1154 

Englewood, CO 80150 

(This is a commercial firm that 
compiles and distributes copies of 
electronics standards for a fee.) 

Institute for Computer Sciences 

and Technology 
A200 Administration 
National Bureau of Standards 
Washington, DC 20234 

United States Department of 

Commerce ; 

National Technical Information 

Service 
5285 Port Royal Rd. 
Springfield, VA 22161 



142 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Welcome to the Standards Jungle 

An in-depth look at the confusing world of computer connections. 



RS-232C, RS-366, RS-423A, 
RS-449, V.10, V.ll, V.24, V.28, 
X.21, X.21 bis, X.26, X.27, current 
loop. . . Welcome to the standards 
jungle. All these are standards or rec- 
ommendations designed to help you 
connect computers to terminals, mo- 
dems, and computer networks. Why 
are there so many? What are the dif- 
ferences between them7 The similari- 
ties? Ill attempt to guide you through 
this horrendous complication of stan- 
dards, but first let's take a look at 
where these standards originated. 

The standards or recommendations 
111 cover come from two organiza- 
tions. The standards with the RS 
prefix are from a United States 
organization, the Electronic In- 
dustries Association (EI A). These are 
the most widely used standards for 
computer equipment in North Amer- 
ica and hence the world at this time. 
The standards prefixed by a V or X 
are from the Comite Consultatif In- 
ternational Telephonique et Tele- 
graphique (CCITT), a committee of 
the International Telecommunica- 
tions Union, which is an agency of 
the United Nations. The concerns of 



Ian H. Witten 

Computer Science Department 

University of Calgary 

2500 University Drive NW 

Calgary, Alberta 

Canada T2N 1N4 

the CCITT encompass all aspects of 
telecommunications worldwide. Be- 
cause of sometimes conflicting factors 
influencing its decisions, such as 
special national requirements and 
geopolitical concerns, the CCITT 



The EIA standards 
are the most widely 

used standards for 

computer equipment 

in the world. 



makes recommendations rather than 
standards. Although the EIA stan- 
dards and the CCITT recommenda- 
tions are almost identical in many 
cases, they differ somewhat in word- 
ing and detail. Additionally, the 
CCITT has taken a separate direction 
from the EIA in the past few years, 
which I will discuss later. (A complete 
copy of the standards and recommen- 
dations can be purchased by writing 
to the respective organizations: EIA, 
2001 Eye St. NW, Washington, DC 
20006; and CCITT, United Nations 



Bookstore, United Nations Assembly 
Building, New York, NY 10017.) 

An RS-232C Beginning 

My jungle tour starts with a whirl- 
wind overview of the standards listed 
in table 1, after which I'll describe 
each one in greater detail. A good 
place to begin is with the most 
popular standard for connecting com- 
puters to modems and terminals, RS- 
232C. The official title for this com- 
plicated standard is Interface Between 
Data Terminal Equipment and Data 
Circuit-Terminating Equipment 
Employing Serial Binary Interface. 
The C in RS-232C indicates that it has 
been revised. This standard includes 
much more than just the transmit-and 
receive-data wires you use to connect 
a terminal to a computer. 

The RS-232C standard has four 
parts: electrical signal characteristics, 
interface mechanical characteristics, 
functional description of the signals, 
and a list of standard subsets of 
signals for specific interface types. 
The first part defines the voltages to 
be used and their interpretations as 0s 
and Is. The second gives you the size 



146 February 1963 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE February 1983 147 



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!!!!FANTASTIC PRICES!!!! 
FROM DIGITAL DIMENSIONS 

OKIDATA 

ML-80 $339 

ML-82A $415 

•ML-83A $680 

•ML-84(porallel) $985 

*ML-84(serial) $l ,095 

ML-92 $509 

ML-93 $869 

PACEMARK 24I0 CALL 

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•Includes Tractor Feed 

ANADEX DP8000 $749 

ANADEX DP9500/9501 $1279 

ANADEX 9500A/9501A $1359 

ANADEX DP9000/9001 $1209 

ANADEX DP9620A $1459 

SCM-TP I $649 

120 word/min Daisy Wheel, 10 or 12 pitch, 
serial or parallel interface 

DAISYWRITER 2000 $1,015 

BIDIRECTIONAL 40CPS AVERAGE THROUGH 
PUT, 48K BUFFER, CENTRONICS, 488, 
RS232 & C. LOOP INCLUDED. 

DAISYWRITER 1 500 S $955 

4K Buffer Serial Only 
DAISYWRITER 1 500 P $925 

4K Buffer Parallel Only 

IDS 

PRISM 80 $1,219 

Includes sprint mode, dot plot and cut sheet guide 

PRISM 80 $1319 

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buffer. 

PRISM 132 $1,649 

Includes all of above and 4-color graphics 

C.ITOH 

Prowriter (Parallel) $489 

Prowriter (Serial) $629 

Prowriter 2 (Parallel) $719 

Prowriter 2 (Serial) $769 

Starwriter F10 $1,449 

Printmaster F-10 $1,699 

DISK DRIVES 

RANA ELITE I $305 

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MODEMS 

HAYES 300 BAUD SMART MODEM $219 

HAYES 1200 BAUD SMART MODEM $515 

E-Z COLOR board $199 

For the Apple II or Apple II Plus. 
16-Color, 256 x 192 resolution. Requires 
3.3 DOS. Includes demo software and 
E-Z COLOR Editor. 
E-Z COLOR board for S100 Systems $279 
E-Z COLOR board for TRS-80 $239 

INTEX TALKER text-to-speech synthesizer. Serial and 
parallel interface included $280 

AMDEK 13" COLOR! $335 

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FOR THE IBM P.C. 

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Residents Add 7'/»% Sales Tax. Prices Subject To Change 
Without Notice. 



EIA CCITT 



Approx. Speed/Distance Purpose 

Date 



RS-232C V.24, V.28 1969 20,000 bps and 50 ft. 



RS-366 V.25 



RS-422A V.11.X.27 1975 



RS-423A V.10, X.26 1975 



RS-449 



1977 



10 million bps and 40 ft 
100,000 bps and 4000 ft 



100,000 bps and 40 ft 
1000 bps and 4000 ft 



2 million bps using 
RS-422A 

20,000 bps using 
RS-423A 



X.21 



1976 



X.21 bis 



1976 



current-loop (not 
officially sanctioned) 



10,000 bps and 1500 ft 



Table 1: The standards jungle. 



interface specification for 
modem control, including 
electrical and mechanical 
characteristics and func- 
tional definitions of 
signals 

automatic calling unit 
used in conjunction with a 
modem to allow a com- 
puter to dial calls 

electrical specification only; 
two-wire connection for 
each signal 

electrical specification only; 
one-wire connection for 
each signal with common 
return wire 

interface specification for 
modem control, using 
RS-423A as electrical 
specification, with option 
of RS-422A for some 
wires 

interface specification for 
data equipment to public 
data network, using syn- 
chronous format and 
digital rather than analog 
transmission on telephone 
networks 

modification of X.21 to 
allow its use with existing 
synchronous data equip- 
ment and analog tele- 
phone networks — 
essentially the same as 
V.24 and RS-232C 

provides send and return 
data paths only (no 
modem control) — not a 
proper standard — used 
originally for Teletype ter- 
minals and now used on 
many microcomputers 



of the plug and the disposition of the 
pins. The third, which I'll discuss in 
most detail, gives a functional de- 
scription of the 21 signals which make 
up the RS-232C standard. The fourth 
part lists about 14 subsets of these 21 
signals that are used in different types 



of modems. The CCITT recommen- 
dation, V.24, is almost identical with 
RS-232C; however, the electrical 
signal characteristics are specified 
separately in a companion recom- 
mendation, V.28. 

When you access a computer over 



148 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



BHRT 



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telephone lines, the computer must 
connect to a modem or data set (data 
set is the term used instead of modem 
in Bell System literature). The com- 
puter's modem communicates 
through the telephone network to 
another modem that connects to your 
terminal. This configuration involves 
two RS-232C interfaces: one between 
the computer and its modem and the 
other between your terminal and its 
modem. Official terminology labels 
both the computer and your terminal 
DTEs (data terminal equipment) and 
labels the modems DCEs (data cir- 



cuit-terminating equipment, most 
often some sort of data-communica- 
tion equipment). 

Because you often want the choice 
of using your terminal with a modem 
or directly connecting it to a com- 
puter's output port, the RS-232C 
standard frequently provides both 
connections. Strictly speaking, the 
RS-232C standard was never intend- 
ed for connecting a DTE device di- 
rectly to another DTE, and most of its 
signals are unnecessary in that ap- 
plication. When manufacturers claim 
that a product is RS-232C-compatible 



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they usually mean that the equipment 
accepts and generates only a small 
fraction of the RS-232C signals and 
also doesn't violate any other parts of 
the standard. 

Generally, the RS-232C standard 
covers such things as the protocol for 
answering calls and modem control 
for reversing the transmission direc- 
tion in a half -duplex link. It does not, 
however, cover the requirements for 
autodial units. This information is 
provided by the companion specifica- 
tion, RS-366 (comparable to CCITT 
recommendation V.25), which de- 
fines how the computer presents the 
digits to be dialed to the autodialer, 
how the computer signals the end of 
the number, and what occurs when 
the autodialer cannot successfully 
complete the call. 

The major drawback to RS-232C is 
its limited transmission distance of 50 
feet. In practice, you can go con- 
siderably farther, but always at your 
own risk. A second disadvantage is 
its maximum transmission speed, 
although this is not usually a limita- 
tion in applications between com- 
puters and terminals. While RS-232C 
can operate at speeds up to 19,200 
bits per second (bps), the data rate 
between computer and terminal is 
usually 9600 bps at best, and it is very 
difficult to transmit data even at this 
slower rate over the switched tele- 
phone network. 

The distance restriction is not a 
serious disadvantage if you use 
modems to access a remote computer. 
The modems usually sit beside the 
computer and terminal, and the long- 
haul transmission takes place be- 
tween them over telephone lines. In 
local applications, however, you 
often find RS-232C connecting ter- 
minals directly to computers, simply 
because it is obviously convenient to 
use the same terminal and computer 
interface whether or not a modem 
connection is used. This is where the 
50-foot limit becomes restrictive. Fur- 
thermore, the RS-232C voltage levels 
are not particularly convenient 
because they aren't the same as those 
in standard TTL (transistor-transistor 
logic) and MOS (metal-oxide semi- 
conductor) technologies now domi- 
nating computer implementations. 



150 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 73 on inquiry card. 



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This means you need an additional 
power supply with this configuration. 
Because of these problems with RS- 
232C, the current-loop interface, 
made famous by the original Teletype 
terminals, has come back in fashion, 
particularly for low-cost home com- 
puters. This interface is not a proper 
standard, with both 20- and 60-milli- 
amp (mA) versions, but it usually 
works over distances of up to 1500 ft 
at rates of up to 9600 bps. Unfor- 
tunately, the current-loop interface is 
completely incompatible with RS- 
232C and requires you to use switch- 
able, dual-standard hardware or con- 
version boxes. Moreover, the inter- 
face comes in two flavors: active, 
which actually generates the current, 
and passive, which either detects the 
current or signals by switching it on 
and off. The conversion boxes enable 
passive devices to communicate with 
active devices. For example, a micro- 
computer usually contains the active 
interface and a terminal has the 
passive one, which means you must 
have an active-to-active conversion 



to directly connect two microcompu- 
ters. 

Overcoming Defects 

The EIA introduced standards RS- 
422A, RS-423A, and RS-449 to over- 
come the defects of RS-232C and to 
incorporate and improve upon the 
advantages of the current-loop inter- 
face. A major change was to un- 
bundle the joint electrical, mechan- 
ical, and functional specifications of 
RS-232C. Just the electrical specifica- 
tions are in RS-422A and RS-423A. 
To allow you to transmit data at high 
rates, RS-422A uses two wires for 
each signal. This setup, known as 
balanced transmission, doubles the 
number of wires in the cable. RS- 
423A transmits at lower speeds and 
uses one wire as a common return 
path for all signals. This is called un- 
balanced transmission and is similar 
to the design of RS-232C. The RS- 
423A standard operates in both RS- 
232C and RS-422A environments and 
thus provides users of existing equip- 
ment with a migration path to move 



to the new RS-422A regime. 

The EIA has introduced RS-449 as 
its intended successor to RS-232C. 
The standard provides a complete 
functional description of the signals 
needed for modem control, together 
with the mechanical specification of 
the plugs and sockets. The electrical 
specification for most signals is RS- 
423A, but RS-422A is also available 
for high-speed operation if necessary. 
RS-449 has a horrendous number of 
wires (46 as opposed to the 25 of RS- 
232C) in two plugs, one with 37 pins 
and one with 9. Fortunately, most ap- 
plications don't require the signals in 
the 9-pin plug. Apart from its im- 
proved speed and distance specifica- 
tions, RS-449 offers some minor func- 
tional enhancements over RS-232C in 
automatic modem testing and a pro- 
vision for a standby channel, but it 
still does not incorporate dialing out. 
The success of RS-449 in the commer- 
cial market remains to be seen. 

Meanwhile, the CCITT has been 
steering a different course. With its 
X.21 recommendation, introduced in 



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PIN 


EIA 


CCITT 


Signal 


Source 


1 


AA 


101 


Protective Ground 




7 


AB 


102 


Signal Ground 




2 


BA 


103 


Transmitted Data 




4 


CA 


105 


Request To Send 




20 


CD 


108.2 


Data Terminal Ready 




23 


CH 


111 


Data Signaling Rate Selector 
(DTE source) 


DTE 

(computer interface) 


24 


DA 


113 


Transmitter Signal Element Timing 
(DTE source) 




14 


SBA 


118 


Secondary Transmitted Data 




19 


SCA 


120 


Secondary Request To Send 




3 


BB 


104 


Received Data 




5 


CB 


106 


Clear To Send 




6 


CC 


107 


Data Set Ready 




22 


CE 


125 


Ring Indicator 




8 


CF 


109 


Received Line Signal Detector 




21 


CG 


110 


Signal Quality Detector 




23 


CI 


112 


Data Signaling Rate Selector 
(DCE source) 


DCE 

(modem or terminal) 


15 


DB 


114 


Transmitter Signal Element Timing 
(DCE source) 




17 


DD 


115 


Receiver Signal Element Timing 
(DCE source) 




16 


SBB 


119 


Secondary Received Data 




13 


SCB 


121 


Secondary Clear To Send 




12 


SCF 


122 


Secondary Received Line Signal Detector 




Table 2: RS-232C signals. 





1976, it is obvious that the committee 
looks forward to the day when direct 
digital connection to a digital tele- 
phone network will be possible. Then 
all data transmission will be syn- 
chronous, and the communication 
equipment will provide bit and byte 
timing signals. X.21 includes the pro- 
tocol for making and answering calls 
and for sending and receiving data 
using full-duplex synchronous trans- 
mission. Byte-timing signals are in 
fact an option, which the vast majori- 
ty of digital telephone exchanges will 
almost certainly provide. In sharp 
contrast to RS-449, X.21 uses only six 
signals. The electrical specifications 
are in recommendations X.26 (corre- 
sponding to EIA RS-422A) and X.27 
(EIA RS-423A). 

Although X.21 is defined as the 
lowest (or "physical") level of the in- 
ternational X.25 packet-switching 
protocol, it is far ahead of its time, 
for direct digital connection to public 
telephone networks is hardly possible 
now. For this reason, CCITT offers 



the X.21 bis recommendation as an 
interim measure to connect existing 
computer equipment to packet com- 
munication services. With this, the 
wheel turns full circle, for this recom- 
mendation is essentially the same as 
RS-232C (V.24), and sadly, its use is 
almost universal in packet-switching 
protocol today. 

I have, in the tradition of all great 
guides, followed a circular path. To 
create a more detailed path through 
this standards jungle, let's look closer 
at each of the standards I have men- 
tioned. 

The RS-232C Standard 

The 21 signals in RS-232C are num- 
bered according to three systems: pin 
numbering used in the conventional 
25-pin connector, the EIA RS-232C 
numbering, and the CCITT V.24 
numbering (see table 2). I will explain 
each of the signals by providing a 
variety of different applications of the 
standard, each using progressively 
more signals. 



154 Febmary 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE February 1983 155 



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Video Display Terminal — signals 
used: Protective Ground, Signal 
Ground, Transmitted Data, and 
Received Data. The Protective 
Ground is for safety and connects to 
the equipment chassis at both ends of 
the link. The Signal Ground estab- 
lishes a common ground reference 
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computer interface to the terminal, 
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Serial Printer — signals used: Pro- 
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transmission. Many software device 
drivers examine this signal before 
transmitting each output character 
and simply delay transmission until it 
is in the on state. Therefore, you can 



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use the signal for flow control, even 
though it was not designed for that 
purpose. You can also use other lines, 
such as Clear To Send, for the same 
purpose. 

Another technique for regulating 
data flow to a device like a serial 
printer is to use the ASCII (American 
National Standard Code for Informa- 
tion Interchange) control codes DCl 
(device control 1, often called XON) 
and DC4 (often called XOFF). These 
codes correspond to the control 
characters Control-Q and Control-S 
respectively. Some software device 
drivers use them to suspend and 
resume output to a terminal. When 
you use these codes for flow control 
on a printer, you connect the Re- 
ceived Data line rather than the Data 
Set Ready line. The printer then 
transmits Control-S when its buffer is 
full and Control-Q when it is ready 
for more data. 

Many printer manufacturers cater 
to both flow-control methods. How- 
ever, in practice, significant problems 
can arise with each of them. When 
the printer is connected through a 
modem, there is no connection be- 
tween the states of the Data Set 
Ready lines at the two ends of the 
link, and so you can't use the first 
method, which is meant for purely 
local use. The XON/XOFF protocol 
should work fine over a telephone 
connection, provided the operating 
system you use responds quickly to 
the XOFF control character. While a 
few extra characters don't usually 
matter on a video display terminal, 
they can mean a disastrous buffer 
overflow for a printer. The same 
result may occur due to characteris- 
tics of a terminal multiplexer, which 
in many cases has internal character 
buffers that store several characters 
awaiting transmission. When XOFF 
arrives, the data to the printer will 
not cease immediately, even if the 
operating system instantly stops send- 
ing characters. In another case, if 
you connect your printer to the 
printer port provided on some ter- 
minals, you may again see a delay in 
the execution of the XOFF command 
due to the buffering going on in that 
unit. 

Remember that RS-232C was never 



158 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 









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BYTE February 1983 159 



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intended for DTE-to-DTE connec- 
tions. Thus it is not surprising that 
problems arise when the standard is 
used for such purposes. After all, 
these flow-control methods are ad 
hoc mechanisms tacked on to an un- 
suitable standard. 

Full-Duplex Private-Line Modem — 
signals used: Protective Ground, Sig- 
nal Ground, Transmitted Data, Re- 
ceived Data, Received Line Signal 
Detector, and (possibly) Data Set 
Ready. The Received Line Signal 
Detector, often called Carrier Detect, 
says in effect, "I hear something like a 
modem talking to me." You use this 
signal to tell the computer that some- 
one is trying to make contact on that 
line. You could use it to trigger the 
computer to generate a log-on invita- 
tion. Data Set Ready may indicate 
that the modem is ready and not in 
voice or test mode, but this is not a 
common practice in North American 
asynchronous modems. 

Half-Duplex Private-Line Modem- 
signals used: Protective Ground, Sig- 
nal Ground, Transmitted Data, Re- 
ceived Data, Request To Send, Clear 
To Send, Received Line Signal Detec- 
tor, and (possibly) Data Set Ready. 
Request To Send and Clear To Send 
control the transmission direction in 
the half -duplex operation. The com- 
puter generates Request To Send 
when it wants to transmit. The Clear 
To Send signal indicates that the 
modem is ready to receive characters 
for transmitting. There will be a 
delay — typically 200 milliseconds 
(ms) — between the Request To Send 
signal from the computer and the 
Clear To Send handshake, because 
the modem must generate the carrier 
waveform and allow it to stabilize. 
When the transmission finishes, the 
computer drops Request To Send, 
causing the modem to turn the trans- 
mitter off. To ensure that both ends 
of the link cooperate in choosing the 
direction of the transmission, you 
need a software protocol. 

Switched Network Auto-Answer 
Modem — signals used: Protective 
Ground, Signal Ground, Transmitted 
Data, Received Data, Request- To 
Send, Clear To Send, Data Terminal 
Ready, Ring Indicator, Received Line 
Signal Detector, and (possibly) Data 



160 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 350 on Inquiry card. 






mt 




n 











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This Programming professional deserves a 
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BlfTE February 1983 161 



Set Ready. Here, the additional 
signals are Data Terminal Ready, 
which shows that the computer is 
ready to receive calls, and Ring In- 
dicator, which signals that the 
modem has received a new call. The 
Ring Indicator signal goes up and 
down as the telephone bell rings so 
that the computer can answer after a 
specified number of rings. If the com- 
puter leaves Data Terminal Ready 
on, the modem answers incoming 
calls immediately. If it is off, the com- 
puter should turn on the signal, after 
the appropriate number of rings, to 
answer the call. At the completion of 
the call, the computer should turn off 
Data Terminal Ready to ensure that 
the line is disconnected. Normally 
this is not necessary, because the line 
should disconnect automatically 
when the calling party hangs up the 
phone, but it is good practice to force 
disconnection at both ends. 

Dual-Rate Modems — extra signals 
used: Data Signaling Rate Selector 
(DTE source) and Data Signaling 
Rate Selector (DCE source). Some 
modems allow switching between 
two transmission speeds. These two 
signals control whether the modem 
uses the high or low speed. Usually 
the modem at the calling end sets the 
speed for the connection. In this case, 
the calling computer uses the Data 
Signaling Rate Selector (DTE source) 
to determine the line speed. The call- 
ing modem signals the speed to the 
answering modem, which informs the 
called computer by setting Data Sig- 
naling Rate Selector (DCE source) ap- 
propriately. 

Synchronous Modems — Extra sig- 
nals used: Signal Quality Detector, 
Transmitter Signal Element Timing 
(DTE source), Transmitter Signal Ele- 
ment Timing (DCE source), and 
Receiver Signal Element Timing (DCE 
source). Synchronous modems pro- 
vide a clock signal along with the 
data. In the case of received data, the 
modem provides the Receiver Signal 
Element Timing (DCE source) or the 
clock. For transmitted data, the 
modem may still provide the clock 
signal on Transmitter Signal Element 
Timing (DCE source). Or the com- 
puter equipment (DTE) may generate 
a timing signal instead, called 



Transmitter Signal Element Timing 
(DTE source). Synchronous modems 
also provide a signal which shows 
whether or not there is a high proba- 
bility of an error in the received data 
(Signal Quality Detector). 

Modems with Primary and Second- 
ary Channels — extra signals used: 
Secondary Transmitted Data, Sec- 
ondary Received Data, Secondary 
Request To Send, Secondary Clear 
To Send, and Secondary Received 
Line Signal Detector. Some modems 
provide a primary transmission chan- 
nel with a high data rate (e.g., 1200 
bps) and a secondary channel in the 
reverse direction with a much lower 
data rate (e.g., 75 bps). The reverse 
channel allows you to listen and con- 
firm reception or to interrupt the 
transmitter. The channel directions 
can be reversed, and the above set of 
five signals allows you to control the 
secondary channel in much the same 
way as the primary one. 

Do you know what 

happens when you 

make a call to a 

computer on a 300-bps 

full-duplex switched 
line? 

A Scenario 

The following sequence of events, 
illustrated in table 3, will show you 
what happens when you make a call 
to a computer on a 300-bps full- 
duplex switched line. To begin, the 
computer expects a call and so it 
leaves Data Terminal Ready on, 
which in turn sets the computer's 
modem ready to answer a call as soon 
as one is received. When this hap- 
pens, the computer sees Ring In- 
dicator (which it can ignore because 
Data Terminal Ready is already on) 
and Data Set Ready (the signal for the 
computer to generate Request To 
Send). In the preceding section, I ex- 
plained Request To Send and Clear 
To Send in the context of half -duplex 
calls. In fact, full-duplex modems use 
them also. Request To Send com- 
mands the modem to turn on its 
transmitter. After a short delay, the 
computer sees Clear To Send and ig- 



nores it. At the other end of the line, 
you hear the carrier signal and either 
push the data button (on a data set) 
or put the telephone handset onto the 
acoustic coupler. Now your modem's 
transmitter turns on, producing its 
own carrier whistle. When the 
modem at the computer end hears 
this, it turns on Received Line Signal 
Detector. Upon receiving this signal, 
the computer begins sending data. 
Many operating systems, however, 
ignore this signal and simply wait for 
you to send a character to begin the 
log-on process. 

At the end of the transmission, 
assume that the computer decides to 
terminate because you logged off. 
The computer turns off Request To 
Send, which then turns off the com- 
puter's modem carrier signal. The 
computer then turns off Data Ter- 
minal Ready, forcing the line to be 
disconnected. Meanwhile, in your 
modem, Received Line Signal Detec- 
tor goes off and generates a warning 
note to you. You replace the handset, 
ensuring that the line disconnects 
from your end also. When the com- 
puter sees its Received Line Signal 
Detector turn off, it knows that the 
disconnection is complete, and so 
raises Data Terminal Ready in pre- 
paration for the next call. 

RS-232C and RS-449: 
What's the Difference? 

RS-232C is being superseded by a 
new standard, RS-449. Technically, 
the major differences between them 
result from RS-449's using improved 
electrical-transmission standards. To 
explain these improvements, I will 
first describe the electrical specifica- 
tions of RS-232C. 

An RS-232C transmitter generates 
a voltage of above +5 volts (V) to 
signal one line condition, called 
Space, and a voltage of below —5 V 
to signal the other condition, called 
Mark. To produce these voltages, 
you generally use a power supply of 
±12 V. A receiver recognizes 
voltages of above +3 V as Spaces 
and voltages of below —3 V as Marks 
(see figure 1). When a signal changes 
from one condition to the other, it 
can spend, at most, 4 percent of a bit 
period (the duration of a bit: 2 



162 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Scratchpad 



The Ultimate Spreadsheet foi 

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The matrix dimensions are up to you. 

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Consolidation 

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Circle 398 on inquiry card. 



■ ' ; - i 



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These features and many others make Scratchpad 
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' ■■ ■ 1 1 i.i. n i ... - 

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IBM Personal Computer is a trademark of International Business 
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FIRST IN SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY P.O.Box1628 Champaign, IL61820 (217)359-2112 Telex 270365 



Terminal 



raise handset and dial 



Line 



Computer 

Data Terminal Ready is on in 
anticipation of a call 



connect call 



carrier whistle 



hear carrier (analogous to 
Received Line Signal 
Detector) 

push data button (see 
Data Set Ready light) 



see Ring Indicator and Data 
Set Ready, generate Request 
To Send 



(after short delay, see Clear 
To Send) 



carrier signal 



see Received Line Signal 
Detector 



-carry on communication — 



no tone from computer 



set Request To Send off 



set Data Terminal Ready 
off, Clear To Send and 
Data Set Ready go off 



Received Line Signal Detec- 
tor goes off, set Data Ter- 
minal Ready on in prepara- 
tion for next call 



Table 3: The sequence of events in a 300-bps dialed call, proceeding from top to 
bottom. 



modem's Received Line 
Signal Detector goes off, 
modem generates warn- 
ing note, replace handset 



call disconnected 



VOLTS 

4v 



+ 15 



+ 5 



-5 




VOLTS 



+ 3 






TRANSITION 
REGION 



TRANSMITTER 



RECEIVER 



Figure 1: RS-232C signal levels. 

164 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



microseconds at the maximum speed 
of 19,200 bps) in the transition 
region. This requirement limits the 
amount of stray capacitance 
allowable in the transmission link 
because capacitance smooths out 
sharp transitions. RS-232C specifies 
that the capacitance must not exceed 
2500 picofarads (pF); and, because 
ordinary cables have a capacitance of 
40 or 50 pF per foot, RS-232C limits 
cables to 50 feet. 

A second difficulty of RS-232C is 
its grounding arrangements with two 
separate lines: Protective Ground and 
Signal Ground. Unfortunately the 
standard does not state clearly how 
these signals are to be used. In many 
implementations, the Protective 
Ground is simply not connected. 

Grounding for distributed analog 
systems is a notoriously difficult sub- 
ject. To give you a simple idea of the 
problems that could occur, imagine 
an RS-232C link between two pieces 
of equipment where Protective 
Ground is not connected but where 
Signal Ground is connected to the 
earth at both ends (this is quite a com- 
mon arrangement). Different ground 
potentials at the ends of the link cause 
a ground current to flow through the 
Signal Ground wire. The inevitable 
resistance in this wire insures that a 
potential difference between the Sig- 
nal Grounds exists that could, if large 
enough, cause the data to be received 
incorrectly. 

The obvious way to overcome 
ground potential differences between 
the transmitter and the receiver is to 
send the signal differentially on two 
wires. The difference between the 
voltages on the wires determines 
whether a Mark or a Space is read. 
This is how RS-422A works, and you 
may recall that this technique is 
known as balanced transmission. 
Figure 2 shows an RS-422A signal, 
carried on a twisted pair of wires. A 
balanced transmission would use two 
of these signals. 

Of course, you can regard even RS- 
232C as transmitting a signal differen- 
tially, with the difference being be- 
tween the signal-wire voltage and the 
ground-wire voltage. What makes 
this approach inferior is that the 
ground wire actually connects to the 







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Grappler + 




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[> 



Figure 2: An RS-422A signal. 



m 



Figure 3: Two RS-423A signals. 



ground at each end. Then if the 
ground potentials differ, the ground 
wire carries a substantial current. The 
amount of the current depends on the 
ground-potential difference and the 
electrical resistance of the ground 
wire. This current makes the poten- 
tial of the ground wire different at 
each end. The RS-422A grounding re- 
quirements are much less critical than 
those of the RS-232C because the 
standard does not use ground as a 
voltage reference. Therefore, the use 
of the Signal Ground wire, which 
connects the grounds at each end of 
the link, is optional. 

The third major difference between 
RS-422A and RS-232C is the transi- 
tion region between Mark and Space 
states. This is only 400 millivolts 
(mV) in RS-422A, whereas it is 6 V in 
RS-232C. With the elimination of the 
ground-potential problem, the use of 
such a narrow region becomes possi- 
ble. If the difference signal between 
the two wires is positive and more 
than 200 mV, the receiver reads a 
Mark, while if it is negative and more 



than 200 mV, the receiver reads a 
Space. This approach allows suitable 
transmitters and receivers to be im- 
plemented with just the normal ±5-V 
power supply. 

Because of the much smaller transi- 
tion region, RS-422A transmitters 
will not drive RS-232C receivers cor- 
rectly. This incompatability poses 
such a serious disadvantage that the 
EIA introduced the RS-423A stan- 
dard, which you can use with both 
RS-449 and RS-232C. This standard 
is not just an interim measure, 
however, for RS-423A does not use 
two wires for each signal as RS-422A 
does and thus is more economical. 
You can see two RS-423A signals in 
figure 3. Each direction uses a com- 
mon return path that connects to 
ground at one end of the link only, 
the transmitter end. The receiver 
judges whether a Mark or Space is 
present by examining whether the 
signal wire is negative or positive 
with respect to the common return. 
Because this return path does not con- 
nect to ground in the receiver, the 



166 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



VISUAL presents economic elegance and 
high performance in a low-cost terminal. 




FEATURE COMPARISON CHART 


FEATURE 


VISUAL 
50 


Hazeltine 
Esprit 


ADDS 
Viewpoint 


Lear 
Siegler 
ADM-5 


TeleVideo 
910 


Tilt and Swivel 


YES 










Detached Keyboard 


YES 




YES 






N-Key Rollover 


YES 




YES 






Audible Key Click 


YES 


YES 








Menu Set-Up Mode 


YES 










Status Line 


YES 










Full 5 Attribute Selection 


YES 








YES 


Smooth Scroll 


YES 










Line Drawing Character Set 


YES 










Block Mode 


YES 


YES 






YES 


Insert/Delete Line 


YES 


YES 






YES 


Bi-Directional Aux Port 


YES 


YES 


HI 


YES 




Columnar Tabbing 


YES 


YES 






YES 


Independent RCV/TX Rates 


YES 










Answerback User 
Programmable 


YES 











The VISUAL 50 represents a new 
approach in low cost terminals. Although it 
costs drastically less, it offers the features you expect 
from the high priced units. 

For example, the VISUAL 50 enclosure is econom- 
ically designed in light weight plastic and can easily be 
swiveled and tilted for maximum operator comfort. A detached 
keyboard, smooth scroll, large 7 x 9 dot matrix characters and 
non-glare screen are a few of the many human engineering 
features normally offered only on much higher priced terminals. 
Another distinctive feature of the VISUAL 50 is its emulation 
capability. VISUAL 50 is code-for-code compatible with the 
Hazeltine Esprit,'" ADDS Viewpoint,™ Lear Siegler ADM-3A™ 
and DEC VT-52.' Menu driven set-up modes in non-volatile 
memory allow easy selection of terminal parameters. 

And you're not limited to mere emulation. As the chart shows, 
the VISUAL 50 has features and versatility the older, less power- 
ful low cost terminals simply cannot match. 




k L? 1 M 



See for yourself 



Visual Technology Incorporated 
540 Main Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876 
Telephone (617) 851-5000. Telex 951-539 



Circle 428 on Inquiry card. 




The Ultimate 

for the 



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Calendar (std.) • IBM Compatible Async " 
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emulator prog.) • SuperSpooP included 
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R€S€ftRCH INC. 

2372 Morse Ave. 

Irvine, California 92714 

Telephone: (714) 540-1333 

Dealer inquiries welcome. 



Pin 


Signal 




RS-449 


RS-232C 


37/19 9/5 


SG 


Signal Ground 


AB 


Signal Ground 


37/37 9/9 


SC 


Signal Common 






37/20 9/6 


RC 


Receive Common 






37/28 


IS 


Terminal In Service 






37/15 


IC 


Incoming Call 


CE 


Ring Indicator 


* 37/12 37/30 


TR 


Terminal Ready 


CD 


Data Terminal Ready 


* 37/11 37/29 


DM 


Data Mode 


CC 


Data Set Ready 


* 37/4 37/22 


SD 


Send Data 


BA 


Transmitted Data 


* 37/6 37/24 


RD 


Receive Data 


BB 


Received Data 


* 37/17 37/35 


TT 


Terminal Timing 


DA 


Transmitter Signal Element Timing (DTE 
source) 


* 37/5 37/23 


ST 


Send Timing 


DB 


Transmitter Signal Element Timing (DCE 
source) 


* 37/8 37/26 


RT 


Receive Timing 


DD 


Receiver Signal Element Timing 


* 37/7 37/25 


RS 


Request To Send 


CA 


Request To Send 


* 37/9 37/27 


CS 


Clear To Send 


CB 


Clear To Send 


* 37/13 37/31 


RR 


Receiver Ready 


CF 


Received Line Signal Detector 


37/33 


SQ 


Signal Quality 


CG 


Signal Quality Detector 


37/34 


NS 


New Signal 






37/16 


SF 


Select Frequency 






also 37/16 


SR 


Signaling Rate Selector 


CH 


Data Signal Rate Selector (DTE source) 


37/2 


SI 


Signaling Rate Indicator 


CI 


Data Signal Rate Selector (DCE source) 


9/3 


SSD 


Secondary Send Data 


SBA 


Secondary Transmitted Data 


9/4 


SRD 


Secondary Receive Data 


SBB 


Secondary Received Data 


9/7 


SRS 


Secondary Request To Send 


SCA 


Secondary Request To Send 


9/8 


SCS 


Secondary Clear To Send 


SCB 


Secondary Clear To Send 


9/2 


SRR 


Secondary Receiver Ready 


SCF 


Secondary Received Line Signal Detector 


37/10 


LL 


Local Loopback 






37/14 


RL 


Remote Loopback 






37/18 


TM 


Test Mode 






37/32 


ss 


Select Standby 






37/36 


SB 


Standby Indicator 






number of signals in list 


30 






less number of signals which share a pin - 1 






number of extra pins for balanced-line signals + 10 






duplicate grounds/commons (one for each cable) + 3 






cable shields 


+ 2 






spare pins 


+ 2 






total pins: 46 


Table 4: RS-449 signals and their RS-232Cd analogs. Signals marked 


with an asterisk (*) use RS-422A for higher-speed links; all 


other signals use RS-423A. 









problem of ground currents does not 
arise. 

For an RS-423A transmitter, the 
voltage difference between the signal 
line and the common return must be 
at least 4 V, positive for a Space and 
negative for a Mark. This gives an 
8-V transition region — enough for 
RS-232C receivers — but also presents 
the same power-supply problem that 
occurs with the RS-232C. Because the 
RS-423A receiver must be as sensitive 
to the same 400-mV transition region 
as an RS-422A receiver is, you can 
use an RS-422A transmitter with an 
RS-423A receiver. 



RS-449 Signals 

It's obvious that RS-449 provides 
few functional advantages over RS- 
232C except those stemming from the 
new electrical transmission methods. 
Table 4 shows all RS-449 signals, 
together with the corresponding RS- 
232C signals. Notice the similarity be- 
tween the new and old standards. The 
major differences are in the ground- 
ing arrangements (Signal Common 
and Receive Common) and testing 
facilities. Apart from these, only a 
few miscellaneous signals have been 
added. All signals shown in the table 
use the RS-423A transmission stan- 



dard except the 10 asterisked ones, 
which may optionally use the RS- 
422 A for higher-speed links. (Two 
wires are specified for each of these.) 
The signals are divided between a 
37-pin and a 9-pin connector, and the 
ground and common signals are 
transmitted separately for each cable. 
Many applications will not need the 
smaller cable, for it only contains sig- 
nals relevant to the secondary 
channel. 

The Current-Loop Interface 

Now that I have described the elec- 
trical specifications for RS-232C, it is 



170 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Ire 




SOFTWARE 



ASHTONTATE 

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LOWER PRICES, COME 
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CP/M is a registered trademark of DIGITAL RESEARCH, INC 

THE DISCOUNT SOFTWARE GROUP 

6520 Selma Ave. Suite 309 • Los Angeles, Ca. 90028 • (213) 837-5141 

Int'l TELEX 499-0446 DISCSOFT LSA • USA TELEX 194-634 (Attn: 499-0446) 
TWX 910-321-3597 (Attn: 499-0446) 

Circle 150 on inquiry card. 



o 



CURRENT SOURCE 



KEYBOARD . * 
SWITCH V 



CURRENT 
DETECTOR 



VIDEO 

DISPLAY 

TERMINAL 



LINE 



COMPUTER 
INTERFACE 



SCREEN 

CURRENT 

DETECTOR 



o 



CURRENT SOURCE 



\ SWI 



Figure 4: Computer-to-terminal interface using current loops. 



ACTIVE 
TRANSMITTER 



o 



OPTOISOLATOR 



S 



ACTIVE 
RECEIVER 



o 



K 



OPTOISOLATOR 
WITH CURRENT 



PASSIVE 
TRANSMITTER 




K> 



PASSIVE 
RECEIVER 



^ 



K 



Figure 5: Active-to-active and passive-to-passive converters. 



worth looking at the current-loop in- 
terface in more detail. Although this 
interface does not represent a proper 
standard, many low-cost microcom- 
puter systems are using current loop 
because it eliminates the need for 
special power supplies. The current- 
loop interface is not a modem inter- 
face, as RS-232C and RS-449 are. It 
generally contains just the transmit- 
and receive-data signals. However, it 



can drive signals at reasonable speeds 
over respectable distances (9600 bps 
over 1500 feet), which makes it useful 
for directly connecting terminals to 
computers. 

The idea of the current loop is to 
switch a current on and off. The ac- 
tive side of the line generates the cur- 
rent, while the passive side switches 
or detects it. Either the receiver or 
transmitter can be active. This gives 



you four possibilities: Active Re- 
ceiver, Active Transmitter, Passive 
Receiver, and Passive Transmitter. 
Because of the convenience of locat- 
ing the power supply at just one end 
of the link (usually the computer), 
you will find all four of these signals 
in a single computer-to-terminal con- 
nection. You can see this arrangement 
in figure 4. 

Unfortunately, this convention in- 
troduces the need for active-to-active 
and passive-to-passive converters. It 
is obvious that each link must have 
one active component (otherwise 
there is no current to switch), and it is 
also true that a link may have only 
one active component, at least in 
most implementations. Hence, if you 
want to connect a passive terminal 
directly to another passive terminal, 
you must put a passive-to-passive 
converter in between. Similarly, if 
you want to connect an active com- 
puter to an active computer, you will 
need an active-to-active converter. 
These converters are easy to imple- 
ment and are shown in figure 5. The 
optoisolator provides complete elec- 
tric isolation between the two sides, 
thus eliminating any problems with 
ground potential differences. The 
active-to-active converter does not 
even need a power supply, although 
the passive-to-passive must have one 
to generate the current. 

Automatic Calling Units 

None of the standards examined so 
far support the automatic placement 
of calls by a computer. RS-232C and 
RS-449 provide specifications for 
answering calls, but not for dialing. 
For this there is another standard, 
RS-366 (CCITT V.25) for automatic 
calling units. Making a telephone call 
can be quite complicated, although 
most of us are so used to it that we 
don't think about the complexity. 
The computer must be able to deter- 
mine whether the line is free, 
figuratively take the phone off the 
hook, await the dial tone, present the 
telephone number, and detect and 
decipher the various audio signals 
that the telephone network uses to in- 
dicate the status of a call (the dial 
tone, the busy tone, the ringing tone, 
and the number-unavailable tone). 



172 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



. • ■ i <• - * -i « ' 



_4»-**a#" 



iBm pc compacioie produces Co remember. 





■■■fl! 



S56 KB 



ESS KB 



computer peripnerals 

1117 Venice Boulevard Los Rngeies CR soois C213) 293-1297 Telex: ibissi lsr 

Circle 107 on inquiry card. 

IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines 
© 1982 Computer Peripherals Inc. 



I II III III 



£)o99 eo< 9iiftt^ftfo \ea.yyL a Se^o^M la H-yn «.je 



M e 



r* 



f 



n 




/ME- 



O Vv 



^ 



r*.;, 



CIVM is a rcgiMeml ir;ulfiii;irk ofDi^tal HiM.inh Corp. 



For the name of the dealer nearest you, phone (800) 227-2400, ext. 948; in California, (800) 772-2666, ext. 948. For more information. 



And now, InfoStar." 

The first DBMS you can use 
without speaking programmerese. 



So put away vour GO TOs and 
DO WHILES. 

InfoStar is one microcomputer 
data base system that doesn't ask you to 
write in code. Or learn a programming 
language. Instead you make selections 
from an on-screen menu written in one 
easy language. English. 

Which means you don't have 
to be a programmer or computer jock 
to use it. But, in case you are, there's 
something in it for you, too. 

With InfoStar, you can generate 
a custom application four times faster 
than with other DBMS software. 

Reason being it has a lot of the 
features that made WordStar* the 
standard in the industry. For instance, 
select-as-you-go menus prompt you 
through all procedures. And to format 
a data entry form or report, you simply 
draw it on the screen. We've said it 
before: what you see is 
what you get. 

But, of course, that's 
not all you get. 

Fact is, InfoStar has 
more informative 




(and self documenting) capabilities 
than you've come to expect from any 
microcomputer DBMS. 

Starting with report writing. A 
custom report feature — complete with 
transactional updating and exception 
processing abilities — lets you format, 
manipulate and merge countless differ- 
ent ways. And a quick report feature 
lets you finish faster than you can count 
them — usually in 60 seconds or less. 
Not that you have to slow down 
to sort things out either. Because InfoStar 
can sort five to six times faster than 
any other DBMS in its class. 

And for data entry, there are 
high-end minicomputer features. Like 
batch editing. And 200 editing mask 
combinations, to name a few. 

All that's required of you is that 
you have a CP/M-based computer. 
And that you take a trip over to your 
local computer store to 
ask about InfoStar. 

They don't speak 
programmerese. 

But they're happy to 
talk business. 



MicroPro 



he Microcomputer Software Company 



write MicroPro, 33 San Pablo Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94903. (415 ) 499-1200. 



Circle 262 on inquiry card. 



CCITT 



Signal 



Source 



202 


Call Request 


206 


NB1 


207 


NB2 


208 


NB4 


209 


NB8 


211 


Digit Present 


203 


Data Line Occupied 


204 


Distant Station Connected 


205 


Abandon Call 


210 


Present Next Digit 


213 


Power Indicator 



DTE (computer interface) 



DCE (automatic calling unit) 



Table 5: The signals used by RS-366 and V.25 automatic calling units. 



Digit 










Code 


NB8 


NB4 


NB2 


NB1 


1 











1 


2 








1 





3 








1 


1 


4 





1 








5 





1 





1 


6 





1 


1 





7 





1 


1 


1 


8 













9 










1 










1 





EON 




1 








SEP 




1 





1 



Table 6: Number codes for automatic calling units. In the last four columns a 
stands for on and a 1 stands for off. 



The signals for the automatic-call- 
ing-unit standard are listed in table 5. 
Data Line Occupied tells the com- 
puter if someone is already on the 
line. After checking that the line is 
free, the computer indicates that it 
wants to place a call by using Call Re- 
quest. This effectively takes the 
phone off the hook. When the auto- 
matic calling unit hears the dial tone, 
it signals with Present Next Digit. 
Each digit is a binary-coded decimal 
as shown in table 6. The computer 
generates the next digit and signals its 
presence with Digit Present. Shortly 
afterwards, it again sees Present Next 
Digit, which indicates that the calling 
unit is ready for another digit. The se- 
quence continues until the end of the 
number is reached, which the com- 
puter indicates with the EON (end of 
number) code. The computer can use 
another code, SEP (separator), in the 



case when there might be a second 
dial tone, as when calling out through 
a private branch exchange (PBX). 
Often you have to wait for a dial 
tone, dial 9, and then wait for a sec- 
ond dial tone from the main ex- 
change. SEP indicates to the calling 
unit that a second dial tone is ex- 
pected. The calling unit then waits 
until that tone is received before ask- 
ing the computer for another digit. 

When the end of the number is 
reached, the calling unit waits for the 
called party to answer and then sig- 
nals Distant Station Connected. 
Otherwise, if the number is unavail- 
able or busy, it signals Abandon Call. 

Moving into the Digital World 

The overwhelming complexity of 
these standards is symptomatic of the 
fact that we are asking the analog 
telephone network to serve a purpose 



for which it was never designed. No 
one foresaw automatic placement and 
answering of calls by computers 
when the first phone was installed. 

Today, the telephone network is 
slowly moving into the digital era, an 
advancement complicated by the 
staggering investment that the tele- 
phone companies have in existing 
equipment. In anticipation of wide- 
spread direct digital connection to the 
telephone network, CCITT is offering 
a new, cleaned-up recommendation 
specifically designed for the digital 
telephone exchange. It is X.21, and 
the minimum line speed is likely to be 
56,000 bps, the data rate needed to 
encode voice to telephone quality. 
Just imagine the impact this will have 
on your home use of remote com- 
puters or information networks like 
the Source. 

The X.21 standard uses only eight 
lines (see table 7). The computer 
sends data to the modem on the 
Transport line and data moves in the 
reverse direction on the Receive line. 
Control and Indication provide con- 
trol channels in the two directions. 
The X.21 modem generates a bit-rate 
clock and possibly a byte-synchroni- 
zation signal. The last two wires give 
a voltage reference and ground con- 
nection. 

Although Control and Indication 
are control wires, most of the control- 
ling information actually uses the 
Transport and Receive lines. The 
computer changes the state of Con- 
trol when it wants to place a call, just 
as you lift the handset off the 
telephone when you want to dial. To 
terminate the call, the computer 
changes Control back to the idle 
state. Similarly, the modem changes 
the state of Indication when the 
remote telephone is answered and 
changes it back if it shuts down. All 
the dialing information travels on the 
Transport line and all the information 
about tones comes back on the 
Receive wire. 

The major advantage of X.21 over 
RS-232C and RS-449 is that the X.21 
signals are encoded in serial digital 
form. For example, when a dial tone 
is received, a continuous sequence of 
ASCII "+" characters is sent to the 
computer on the Receive wire. In 



176 Febnury 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Mr. Dow and Mr. Jones 

introduce 

Dow Jones Software" 




Jones: "Mr. Dow, look what they're selling in that new store 

down the street: Dow Jones Software. You haven't gotten 
us into ladies' fashions, have you?" 

Dow: "No, Mr. Jones. That's a computer store, and our software 
products allow investors and business professionals to use 
a personal computer like this one here to easily manage 
financial information." 

Jones: "But what about our reputation? We've been leaders in 

serving the business and financial community for over 100 
years. Are you sure this new software will be as reliable as 
The Wall Street Journal and Barron's?" 

Dow: "Of course, Jones. Our software is so reliable we back it up 
with a full-year warranty. People trust Dow Jones Software 
the same way they trust the Journal. And we have a toll- 
free Hotline number in case they want expert help." 

Jones: "Couldn't that be a lot of phone calls? After all, we've got 
the Dow Jones Averages to get out every day." 

Dow: "Don't worry, Jones. Our software is very easy to use, and 
we have a fully staffed Customer Service Department to 



respond to our dealers and customers." 
Jones: "Just what can our software do?" 

Dow: "In a nutshell, Jones, with a personal computer, a tele- 
phone, a modem and Dow Jones Software, you can easily 
perform complex analyses on the information available 
from our information service, Dow Jones News/Retrieval®." 

Jones: "People really use our software to make decisions?" 

Dow: "Absolutely. Once you've stored the information you want, 
our software does the rest. For instance, with one Dow 
Jones Software product you can follow indicators for stocks, 
sort, rank, screen and set critical points for buying and 
selling. With another, you can easily construct technical 
charts. Look at this beautiful graph " 

Jones: "You mean all those calculations I've been doing by hand 
I could do in a fraction of the time with this software? 
That's great!" 

Dow: "It is, Mr. Jones. Just like the Journal, Dow Jones Software 
is a resource you can bank on!" 




Dow Jones 
Market Analyzer™ 

A technical analysis product 
thai allows private and profes- 
sional investors to automatically 
collect, store and update histor- 
ical and daily market quotes, and 
to construct technical analysis 
charts at the touch of a key. 



Dow Jones 

Market Microscope" 

A fundamental analysis 

product that allows professional 
money managers to choose and 
follow indicators for extensive 
lists of stocks and industry 
groups, and to sort, rank, screen 
and set critical points Tor buying 
and selling. 



Dow Jones 
Market Manager™ 

A portfolio management 
product for private or profes- 
sional investors who desire 
immediate access to pricing and 
financial information, and who 
need an accounting and control 
system for their portfolios of 



Dow Jones 

Connector™ 

A communications product 

for the business or professional 
person who wants instant elec- 
tronic access to news, facts and 
vital data at the home or office, 
via personal computer, simple 
terminal, communicating word 
processor or teletypewriter. 



Sec your computer dealer 
or call 

1-800-345-8500 Ext. 48 

for a free brochure 
(Alaska, Hawaii and foreign, 
call 1-215-789-7008 Ext. 48) 



Dm Iones Software 



...Bank on it. 



CCITT 



Signal 



Source 



T Transport 

C Control 

Ga DTE Common Return 



DTE (computer interface) 



R Receive 

I Indication 

S Signal (bit timing) 

B Byte Timing (optional) 



DCE (X.21 modem) 



Ground 



Table 7: Signals used in the X.21 data-communications standard. 



Calling Computer 

turn Control on (pick up 
handset) 



send phone number on 
Transport line 



X.21 Modem 



wait for dial tone 



signal dial tone with ASCII 
" + + + ..." on Receive line 



dial the call 



Telephone Network 



dial tone comes 



remote phone rings 

send call progress signal 
on Receive line 

remote phone is picked up 

turn Indication on 

— communication on Transport and Receive — 



turn Control off (put down 
handset) 



turn Indication off to 
acknowledge 



line becomes disconnected 



Table 8: The sequence of events in an X.21 call, with time running from top to 
bottom. 



effect, this is a digital dial tone. The 
computer dials the number by trans- 
mitting it as a series of ASCII char- 
acters on the Transport line, a bit at a 
time. This method is much more con- 
venient for the computer than having 
a parallel connection for the digits 
because today software is much 
cheaper than parallel output ports. 



After dialing the call, the computer 
receives call-progress signals from the 
modem on the Receive wire. These 
signals indicate such call states as 
number busy, access barred, and net- 
work congestion. Table 8 shows an 
example of the X.21 standard in oper- 
ation. Notice that the Control and In- 
dication lines change state only once 



per call; the main control information 
is sent on Transport and Receive. 

The Future 

The telephone network is rapidly 
becoming more complicated. The 
computer technology in the telephone 
exchange increases your options for 
interaction with the telephone sys- 
tem. For example, on an advanced ex- 
change, if you get a busy signal, you 
can place the call again by issuing a 
repeat-last-call command. Alterna- 
tively, you can store that last number 
you called for future reference and 
free the phone for other calls. 
Another option, short-code dialing, 
allows you to associate short 
codes with commonly dialed numbers. 
You can also bar both incoming and 
outgoing calls. A diversion service 
allows you to direct all incoming calls 
to another telephone either imme- 
diately or if the number is busy. 

By using serial digital coding in- 
stead of dedicated wires for special 
functions, X.21 provides a sound 
basis for building such services into 
computer communication. A short- 
code-dialing or repeat-last-call facili- 
ty would be extremely useful, for ex- 
ample, to reconnect a call every time 
you complete a line of typing at the 
terminal. If the line could be discon- 
nected while you are typing, long dis- 
tance calls would be much cheaper. 
Of course, this would also depend on 
the tariff policies of the telecom- 
munication carriers. Using X.21 could 
allow many of the advantages of 
packet-switching without the associ- 
ated complexity. Imagine the 
possibilities of setting up a three- 
party call between computers! You 
can't do this now because you still 
need operator intervention, but the 
new exchanges will allow you to do it 
yourself. Possibilities like these show 
us where the future is, and with the 
X.21 data-communication standard, 
we may have found the path out of 
the standards jungle. ■ 

References 

1. McNamara, J. E. Technical Aspects of 
Data Communication. Bedford: MA: 
Digital Press/Digital Equipment Corpora- 
tion, 1978. 

2. Tanenbaum, A. S. Computer Networks. 
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1981. 



178 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Powerful CB'M Software. 

For Apple, Osborne, TRS-80, North Star, SuperBrain, Micropolis, Altos and others. 

Now only s 29«95 each! 



NEVADA 




was $199.95 now only $29.95. 

When we introduced Nevada COBOL three years ago, it was 
loaded with innovations. Today's Edition 2 is even better! For 
example: 

□ It's 4 to 20 times faster than any other micro COBOL 
according to an independent study*. What's more, it's easier 
to use. 

□ Extremely Compact. You can compile and execute up to 
2500 statements in 32K RAM, 4000 statements in 48K, etc. 

□ It's based upon the ANSI-74 standards with level 2 features 
such as compound conditionals and full CALL CANCEL. 

□ You get a diskette, 153-page manual with lots of examples 
and 16 complete COBOL source code programs. 



NEVADA 



FORTRAN 



was $199.95 now only $29.95. 

□ IF . . THEN . . ELSE constructs. 

□ COPY statement. 

□ A very nice TRACE style debugging. 

□ 150 English language error messages. 

□ You get a diskette, 174 pages of Documentation and five 
sample programs. 



NEVADA 

PILOT 

was $149.95 now only $29.95. 

□ Perfect for industrial training, office training, drill and test- 
ing, virtually all programmed instruction, word puzzle games, 
and data entry facilitated by prompts. 

□ What's more, John Starkweather, Ph.D., the inventor of the 
PILOT language, has added many new features to Nevada 
PILOT There are commands to drive optional equipment such 
as Video Tape Recorders and Voice Response Units. There's a 
built-in full-screen text editor and much more. 

□ Meets all PILOT-73 standards for full compatibility with older 
versions. 

□ You get a diskette, 114-page manual and ten useful sample 
programs. 

NEVADA 

EDIT 

was $119.95 now only $29.95. 

□ A character-oriented full-screen video display text editor de- 
signed specifically to create COBOL, BASIC and FORTRAN 
programs. 

□ Completely customizable tab stops, default file type, key- 
board layout and CRT by menu selection. 
GThe diskette comes with an easy to read manual. 



To make our software available to even more micro users, we've slashed our prices. 
What's more, we're offering a money back guarantee. If for any reason you're not 
completely satisfied, just return the package — in good condition with the sealed 
diskette unopened — within 30 days and we'll refund your money completely. 

This is a limited time offer, so order yours today! 

Shipping/handling fees. Add $4.00 for first package and $2.00 each additional 
package. OVERSEAS Add $15.00 for first package and $5.00 each additional 
package. Checks must be in U.S. funds and drawn on a U.S. bank! 

* A Compiler Benchmark: A Comparative Analysis of Four COBOL Compilers by 
Stephen F Wheeler. Trademarks: CP/M, Digital Research; TRS-80, Tandy Corp.; 
Apple II, Apple Computer Inc.: Osborne 1, Osborne Computer Corp. (c) 1982 Ellis 
Computing. 



o 



ELLIS COMPUTING 



MAIL TODAY! To: Ellis Computing 

3917 Noriega St 
San Francisco, CA 94122 



(415)753-0186 



The CP/M operating system and 32K RAM are required. 

Indicate diskette format: □ 8" SSSD 

5 1 /4" D Apple CP/M a Osborne □ N*SD a N*DD 

□ TRS-80 Mod I D Micropolis Mod II 

DTRS-80/mapper □ Superbrain DD DOS 3.X 



Indicate software packages: 



□ COBOL 

□ FORTRAN 



D PILOT 
D EDIT 



Send my order for packages @ $29.95 each Total 

In CA add sales tax 
□ Check enclosed □ COD Shipping/handling 



□ MasterCard 



a VISA 



If COD add $4.00 . 
TOTAL . 



Exp. Date 



Signature 

Ship to: 
Name 



.Phone #. 



Company 

Street 

City/St/Zip . 
Country 



Offer expires 2/28/83 



Circle 165 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 179 



Introducing die portable computer 

for professionals on the move. 

Hewlett-Packard's new HP-75. 



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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

Immediate, convenient access 

to your most frequently used 

programs. 

Thanks to the HP-75 's multiple-file 



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

Time and appointments to keep 
you on schedule. 

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

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

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

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

Software tailored to solve your 
specific problems. 

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

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

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

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

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

Peripherals for a total 
computing package. 

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

In a battery-powered briefcase system 
weighing about seven pounds, you might 
have the 24-character printer, digital cassette 
drive and acoustic modem* 

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

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



GPIO interfaces. 

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




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

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

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

The value you're looking for. 

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

See the HP-75 today. It's the smart choice 
for professionals on the move. 

For the authorized HP dealer or HP sales 
office nearest you, call TOLL-FREE 800-547- 
3400 (Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii: 503-758- 
1010). TTY users with hearing or speech 
impairments, dial 503-758-5566. 




*Call our toll-free number for availability. 
** Available March, 1983. 
*** Available May 1, 1983 . 
****Suggested retail price. May vary outside 
U.S. Peripherals and software not 
included. 



[VI 



HEWLETT 
PACKARD 



A Proposed Floppy-Disk 
Format Standard 

ANSI considers a format that would make 
floppy disks interchangeable. 



A few things in the microcomputer 
world are interchangeable. For exam- 
ple, certain printers, modems, and 
BASIC programs can be used on a 
fairly large number of systems. Flop- 
py disks, unfortunately, are not in 
this group. (And if for some reason 
you find that hard to believe, look for 
any evidence of interchangeable disks 
in the ads of this issue of BYTE. But 
please don't do it now; just take my 
word for it.) When you choose a par- 
ticular microcomputer, you also 
choose the disk format you'll have to 
live with for as long as you own the 
computer. Fortunately, most major 
software is available in several for- 
mats. But, when you want to send 
something on a disk to friends, will 
they be able to read it? 

Think of all the software you've 
wanted but couldn't get in the format 
you needed for your computer. No, I 

About the Author 

Chuck Card is a member of the Standards 
Planning and Requirements Committee of the 
American National Standards Institute Com- 
mittee X3 (Information Processing Systems). 

182 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Chuck Card 
2192 Buckboard Circle 
Warrington, PA 18976 



am not talking about the 6502 code 
you can't execute on your Z80 (or the 
other way around). I'm talking about 
those things that your processor may 
be able to handle, but your disk-drive 
controller cannot. 

And if you think this disk incom- 
patibility is a problem for users, think 
about what this means for indepen- 
dent software vendors. If you take a 
look at an old issue of BYTE, you will 
find, in double-page ads, a list of the 
disk formats one software distributor 
has been willing to generate for its 
customers. That distributor doesn't 
advertise like that anymore, but 
things have not improved. 

Obviously, a standard disk format 
is needed. But, unfortunately, none 
was being offered. Thus, in an effort 
to at least get the ball rolling, I sub- 
mitted a standard-disk-format pro- 
posal of my own to the American Na- 
tional Standards Committee for In- 
formation Processing Systems (Com- 
mittee X3; part of the American Na- 
tional Standards Institute, or ANSI). 
In this article, I will give a brief 
description of that proposed format 



and will suggest how you as a com- 
puter user can help determine what 
the final adopted standard will be. 

First, let's establish what we mean 
by disk formats. Are we talking 
about text or command files? The 
answer is either. We are interested in 
the fact that the files in the various 
systems are not compatible. Or 
worse, the files themselves are quite 
compatible but the disks are not. 

But how can that be? Aren't most 
disks recorded according to the same 
standards? Indeed, they are. The 
problem is that the recording stan- 
dards deal only with such topics as 
tracks and the way bits are defined on 
the storage medium, plus the physical 
characteristics of the medium itself. 

What has been proposed is a disk 
format standard for disk directories 
and general file organization flexible 
enough to accommodate further 
development and evolution. After 
lots of study of the various disk for- 
mats currently available, I found that 
there is a common feature to some of 
these formats, a pattern that many of 
you have undoubtedly noticed. 





8048 MK3880 
MK3880A 



wa youo^. 








HEAD 
SLOT 



INDEX 
HOLE 



PROTECTIVE 
JACKET 



CYLINDER 76 
CYLINDER 00 




Figure 1: A diagram of a typical formatted 
8-inch floppy disk. 



The Media-Parameter Block 

Although notable exceptions exist, 
most disks seem to have a mystical 
sector on cylinder (or track 0). It 
falls under the first read/write head 
and is the first data recorded on the 
track (sector 1). If the terms cylinder, 
head, and sector are confusing, look 
at figure 1. 

Almost all disk drives read this 
home sector the same way. My pro- 
posal is to place certain standard in- 
formation in this sector, information 
that will explain how the rest of the 
disk is formatted. Fortunately, most 
disk controllers can be programmed 
to read and write disks in more than 
one way. Thus it would be possible 
for one of these disk controllers to 
read the home sector and then be pro- 
grammed to read the rest of the disk. 
In the home sector will be informa- 
tion on such things as the recording 
technique, the number of bytes in 
each sector, how many cylinders, 
heads, sectors per track, and so on. 
This information would in effect tell 
the disk drive how to read the rest of 
the disk. 

That covers the physical issues. 
What about considerations such as 
the load block, which some systems 
use? The proposal deals with that as 
well as the interlace formula, 
copyright notices, bad-track tables, 
system-reserved space, volume iden- 
tifiers, and the directory description. 
While these are not all required, the 



ENTRY 



16 
ENTRIES 



ENTRY F 



THE MEDIA-PARAMETER BLOCK 

-MEDIA IDENTIFICATION (MID) 

— STRUCTURE IDENTIFICATION (SID) 



PHYSICAL-MEDIA PARAMETERS (PMP) 



LOAD-PARAMETER BLOCK (LPB) 



PD8 (FUTURE DEVELOPMENT) 



PD7 



PD6 



PD 5 



PD3 



PD1 



BAD-TRACK TABLE (BTP) 



SECTOR -TRANSLATE TABLE (STP) 



SYSTEM-RESERVED SPACE (SRP) 



DIRECTORY-DESCRIPTOR BLOCK (DDP) 



VOLUME -IDENTIFICATION BLOCK (VIP) 



t 
BYTE 



COPYRIGHT -DATA BLOCK (CDP) 

— i — i — i — i — i — i — i — i — r 



BYTE F 



16 BYTES - 



Figure 2: A diagram of the media-parameter block (MPB), the 256 bytes of the first sec- 
tor of the proposed standard disk format. The information in this sector describes how 
the rest of the disk is formatted. Each block contains specific information or points to 
the area of the disk that has that information. 



Byte 02 



Byte 03 



Bit 


Field 


Mnemonic 





Physical-media-parameter table 


PMP 


1 


Load-parameter block 


LPB 


2 


Copyright-data block 


CDP 


3 


Volume-identification block 


VIP 


4 


Directory-descriptor block 


DDP 


5 


System-reserved space 


SRP 


6 


Sector-translate table 


STP 


7 


Bad-track table 


BTP 



1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 


Reserved for 


future standardization 





Table 1: Bytes 2 and 3 of the media-parameter block form the structure identification , 
(SID). These bits signify which of the pointer fields in the MPB are active. 



The IMS Family 



IMS Computer products not only fulfill the requirements 
of stand alone applications, they are designed to be cost 
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Jhe IMS family is growing rapidly— keeping pace with 
technology and the ever increasing needs of industry. 




* V 



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rf 


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f 




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11 


vi i i 





§m ■ ^i 



The Ever Expanding IMS Product Line 




O 5000SX systems computer; S100 based archival node to which six user 
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© 8000S large system computer. S100 based. Can support up to 16 users 
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Circle 204 on Inquiry card. 



Mnemonic 
PSS 
PCC 
HCT 
PST 
RFT 



TAS 



RES 



Byte(s) 
Description Location 

Physical sector size in bytes (16-bit value) 04, 05 

Physical cylinder count (16-bit value) 06, 07 

Number of heads per cylinder 08 

Number of sectors per track 09 

Recording-format table 0A 

01 = FM 

02 = MFM 

03 = MMFM 

Track-access sequence 0B 

00 = Cylinder (Increment head count before 

advancing cylinder count.) 

01 = Side A (Increment cylinder count 

before advancing head count to 
highest cylinder, then decrement 
cylinder count after incrementing 
head count; CP/M format.) 

02 = Side B (Increment cylinder count 

before advancing head count to 
highest cylinder, then return to 
cylinder and advance cylinder 
count after incrementing to new 
head.) 
Reserved for future standardization 0C 

through 
OF 



Table 2: A description of the bytes in the physical-media-parameter table (PMP) in 
figure 2. 







Byte(s) 


Mnemonic 


Description 


Location 


CST 


Starting cylinder for load area 


10, 11 


HST 


Starting head for load area 


12 


SST 


Starting sector for load area 


13 


CEN 


Ending cylinder of load area 


14, 15 


HEN 


Ending head of load area 


16 


SEN 


Ending sector of load area 


17 


SID 


System identification 
(two bytes requiring registration) 

Byte 18 Byte 19 

00 00 = 8080 

01 00 = Z80 

02 00 = 6800 

03 00 = 68000 

04 00 = 8086 

05 00 = Z8000 


18, 19 


SIC 


System configuration (two bytes 
requiring registration for variables 
on SID) 


1A, 1B 


LFI 


Load-format indicator (one byte for 
indication of load format) 

00 = Sequential: begin at start 

cylinder, head, and sector; 
load at start of system 
memory 

01 = Sequential with load address- 

ing at first locations of 
start cylinder, head, and 
sector (see load-element 
descriptor) 


1C 


LFQ 


Load-format qualifier (one byte of 
system-dependent load qualifier 
used as a check for load condition) 


1D 


LFR 


Load-format reserve (reserved for 
future standardization) 


1E, 1F 


Table 3: A descriptor 


of the bytes that make up the load-parameter block (LPB) in 


figure 2. 







(SID). Each bit indicates whether one 
of several blocks or tables are active. 
Each "1" bit means that the corre- 
sponding pointer field for that block 
is in use for its appointed purpose. 
The layouts of bytes 2 and 3 are given 
in table 1. The exact purpose of the 
bits in byte 3 has not yet been deter- 
mined, but they are reserved in case 
the media-parameter block should 
ever grow to 512 bytes. 

Table 2 describes the bytes in the 
physical-media-parameter table (PMP) 
in figure 2. If you examine these bytes 
closely, you can see that a huge disk 
can be accommodated. No, I haven't 
seen any new product announce- 
ments; this is just a little groundwork 
to handle all those rumors coming out 
of Silicon Valley. 

The load-parameter block, while 
not always needed, has some features 
we haven't seen on disks previously 
(see table 3). These are typical of the 
new features that seem to come out of 
the woodwork when a new standard 
is designed. In particular, your atten- 
tion is called to the SID byte in table 
3. That byte contains information on 
the type of microprocessor that is ex- 
pected to execute the code in the load 
block. This information will help pre- 
vent you from trying to execute 6502 
code on your 8088. 

Also noteworthy is an accommo- 
dation for new formats (that is, new 
for microcomputers) such as relocat- 
able object code. Yes indeed, the pro- 
posed standard is trying to look as far 
ahead as is practical. 

Those among you who have used 
Unix may be wondering about the 
chained directories of that system. 
They would be easy to add. The 
directory in this new proposal could 
serve as the root directory for a series 
of subdirectories. From then on, it is 
just a matter of designating a file for 
each subdirectory. The directory- 
descriptor block in figure 2 would 
describe the root directory and the in- 
dividual fields in it. 

I am purposely avoiding giving 
more details here. This format is just 
a proposal, and other people have 
written papers about features that 
have not yet been adequately dis- 
cussed. I would hate to see any of you 
go write code and then find that there 



186 February 1983 © BYTE Publications lnc 




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had been changes. In this article, I am 
just nailing down the concepts; the 
actual bit-fiddling is yet to come. 

Other Proposals 

Other disk-format proposals have 
been suggested, but these proposals 
always seemed to be lurking off in the 
distance. After a long wait (some may 
say too long), I was asked to take the 
issue in hand and write my own pro- 
posal. Certain things undoubtedly 
were left out. Things like "my secret 
sauce key" that some suppliers use to 
copy-protect their disks are not 
directly referenced, but that does not 
preclude them. Standardizing them, 
however, might make the software 
pirate's job a little bit too easy. 

One proposal that surfaced as this 
article was written comes from the 
National Bureau of Standards and 
has its origin in Europe in the Interna- 
tional Organization for Standardiza- 
tion (ISO, Committee TC97/SC15). 
From what I have seen, that proposal 
is not completely incompatible with 
what has been described here. If the 
ISO proposal were slightly modified, 
it could be added to my proposal, 



thus supplying my proposal with 
even more optional formats. I hope 
the two efforts can be merged into a 
single cohesive standard. 

You might think this whole thing is 
a bit fantastic. For such a standard to 
be developed, all of the major soft- 
ware developers would have to agree 
on it. And why would the big sup- 
pliers all of a sudden get involved in 
working together on a standard? My 
guess is that some of the older 
established companies are more 
standards-oriented than some of the 
start-up ventures that have formed 
the foundation of the microcomputer 
field. These older companies, such as 
IBM, Sperry Univac, Xerox, and 
Digital Equipment Corporation, see 
that they have a need to interchange 
disks just as you and I do. Moreover, 
they have huge investments in 
systems that use structures rather dif- 
ferent from those used on personal 
computers. With this new standard, it 
would be possible to link these dif- 
ferent structures with each other and 
with microcomputers. 

Also, some microcomputer com- 
panies, such as Digital Research, 



Morrow, and Osborne, have shown 
interest in a standard disk format. My 
proposed format is not the same as 
the CP/M operating system or its 
cousins, but it is similar. And I can 
foresee products that will bridge the 
gap between these formats. 

I hear that Version 3.0 of CP/M 
will be upon us by the time this ap- 
pears in print, and it will take into ac- 
count things that have been available 
to those who use other operating 
systems (for example, the Flex system 
on the 6800 and 6809 systems). What 
features might Version 3.0 include? 
How about date stamps to indicate 
when a directory entry was created? 
What about permission codes for 
shared access? This latter feature may 
not be very exciting for anybody not 
in a multiuser situation. But a lot of 
us have often dealt with that situation 
and see the shared-access problem. 
The supplier of CP/M, Digital 
Research, feels the need for multiuser 
and networking versions of its 
systems. Strangely, however, these 
issues did not seem to come up earlier 
when people had to share one disk on 
the single-user systems. 



188 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Other Disks 

You may have noticed that I have 
been talking about disks in general 
rather than just the flexible disk car- 
tridges we know as floppies. Why? 
Software suppliers and users have 
been pushing hard for compatibility 
between all types of storage media. 
Many people want the new hard-disk 
cartridges to work with software as if 
they were just large versions of their 
black-enveloped cousins. It would be 
rather foolish to invent new struc- 
tures for no compelling reason. 

Similarly, many suppliers and 
users want to get the less-than-SVi- 
inch disks under control before we see 
them explode all over us. We should 
be able to use the format proposed 
here on these new 3- to 3 ¥2 -inch 
disks. So far, the technologies that 
have been proposed for these disks 
have been compatible with our pro- 
posal. 

By adding extensions in the future, 
we should be able to use this format 
for a long time. I intended that the 
format serve as a guide for all of the 
newly emerging exotic disks we are 
reading about. This would be similar 



to the way the Shugart media inter- 
face has been adopted as a guide for 
all floppy-disk-drive manufacturers. 
Otherwise, more chaos will follow. 
We hope that the suppliers and 
developers of these new devices will 
let us know about any special needs 
they may have. 

But what about the piracy prob- 
lem? Wouldn't such a standard make 
it worse? Ours is an interesting in- 
dustry. If you make things challeng- 
ing, the software pirate will take the 
challenge. A former boss often 
reminded me that "you can't make a 
good contract with a crook." I have 
always taken that to mean that good- 
will is as important as good locks. We 
can offset the piracy matter more by 
careful pricing strategies and by 
developing goodwill with consumers 
than with all the tricks in the barrel. 
Of course, the data itself can always 
be encrypted. But I don't want to trig- 
ger another discussion on that here. 

Another phenomenon sneaking up 
on us is networking. Public networks 
and computer-based message systems 
(CBMS) are with us today, and many 
of us regularly use them. These 



1 19 on inquiry card 
Ifc. - J 

systems will require some type of 
storage medium if copies are to be 
made of messages. But should these 
messages be stored in the form the 
host computer uses or one that the 
addressee can read? This is a good 
question. Under the new proposal, 
these formats would be compatible. 

Getting Involved 

Now, what can you as an in- 
dividual user do to push for quick 
development of a standard for disk 
formats? For one thing, you can write 
to me. I promise to reply to everyone 
who writes, and I also promise to 
deliver your opinion to the project 
team that is being formed to solve this 
problem. I have been dubbed the con- 
vener or initial chairperson of the 
committee assigned to develop the 
new floppy-disk standard. That gives 
me a good chance to see that your 
opinions are heard. 

How else can you help? If you or 
your employer can stand the cost, 
your direct participation is possible. 
An annual fee of $150 handles the 
cost of getting you registered on the 
committee. You can even designate 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 189 



someone as an alternate for yourself 
on that same $150 fee. Being on the 
committee will also involve about 15 
percent of your time, and you will an- 
nually incur travel costs for about 
four meetings of three days' duration 
each, invariably held on the other 
side of the continent from wherever 
you live. That expensive? Yes. How 
can anybody afford it? They are expect- 
ing eventual commensurate benefits. 

My point is that you are not ex- 
cluded from participating. All that is 
necessary is patience, interest, dem- 



onstrated ability, patience again, 
the ability to attend the various meet- 
ings, and yet more patience. And I 
am not teasing you about the amount 
of patience required. Standards are 
consensus documents, and that im- 
plies getting people with many differ- 
ing opinions to agree. Can you imag- 
ine getting the adherents of some ex- 
otic threaded interpreter to agree with 
the BASIC crowd? Oh, you could imag- 
ine that. Then add a Pascal fan to 
the mix and stir in an assembly-code 
devotee. Can you imagine the 




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scenario? I see it quite often. 

Now for the bad news. When can 
we expect to see a disk -format stan- 
dard? Mid-1985 is the current esti- 
mate. (Are you still there?) But as 
consumers you should be able to 
detect some effects of this work by 
the end of this summer. How? Soft- 
ware suppliers, at least the ones most 
involved, will start anticipating the 
standard. You will probably even see 
some eager ads proclaiming adher- 
ence to the standard while the stan- 
dard itself will not yet have been 
drafted, let alone approved. 

Why did it take so long to get a 
proposal? My feeling is that it was the 
result of a mistaken notion that the 
ANSI activities were only for the 
large mainframe computers. Frankly, 
some people in the mainframe com- 
puter field do indeed feel that way. 1 
feel they shouldn't, but this is a free 
country. Similarly, a few microcom- 
puter specialists around are opposed 
to standards. Why? Standards will let 
others connect to their products. For 
good reasons they might not want to 
allow that. I mentioned goodwill 
before. Goodwill is subjective. When 
trust goes away, group efforts do not 
succeed. Microcomputer users and 
mainframe users are merely on two 
sides of one computer industry. We 
must work to develop trust and good- 
will. Both sides have a great deal to 
learn from each other. 

Standards do not come about just 
for the fun of it or to irritate the af- 
fected parties. A standard is merely 
one possible solution to a recurring 
problem, but it should be a solution 
developed by consensus of the con- 
cerned parties. Some problems, of 
course, are bigger than others. It took 
quite a while before this one was seen 
as a problem. When this disk-format 
standard is behind us, we will wonder 
why we ever needed to discuss the 
matter in the first place. 

Let me hear your needs for the in- 
terchange of disks. Unfortunately, of 
course, I will not be able to accept 
your information on a disk (unless, of 
course, you happen to send it on a 
5V4-inch Flex2 disk for my 6800 sys- 
tem). But I hope, with your help, this 
situation will not last too much 
longer. ■ 



190 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 173 on inquiry card. 




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192 BYTE February 1983 



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BYTE February 1983 193 



The Proposed ANSI 
BASIC Standard 

The committee asks for your opinion. 



Ronald Anderson 

2122 Riverside Ave. 

Minneapolis, MN 55454 



Last June, BYTE published an arti- 
cle by Thomas Kurtz outlining the 
new proposed standard for the 
BASIC language (see "On the Way to 
Standard BASIC," June 1982 BYTE, 
page 182). It was the first article to 
describe the new proposal of the 
ANSI (American National Standards 
Institute) BASIC Committee, also 
called the X3J2 subcommittee. The 
proposed BASIC standard now must 
go before two other ANSI commit- 
tees, X3 and SPARC (Standards Plan- 
ning and Requirements Committee), 
before entering a formal period of 
public review. Committee approval is 
expected in early 1983, at which time 
the 120-day public review will begin. 

At the end of this review period, 
the various ANSI committees will 
study the public feedback and decide 
whether or not to make revisions to 
the proposed standard and whether 
or not to recommend final approval. 
The ANSI X3J2 committee is current- 



About the Author 

Ronald Anderson is chairman of the ACM 
Special Interest Group on Computer Uses in 
Education and an associate professor at the 
University of Minnesota. 



ly scheduled to meet again in July 
1983 for this purpose. 

Anticipating the process whereby 
anyone can register complaints or 
cheers, the Association for Com- 
puting Machinery (ACM) is informal- 
ly collecting comments from 
members and from the public. ACM 

Acceptance of a 

proposed standard by 

ACM is by no means 

automatic. 

is represented on the ANSI X3 com- 
mittee by John A. N. Lee, and before 
he casts a final vote on the standard, 
he needs input from the membership, 
which currently numbers more than 
60,000, and others. 

Acceptance of a proposed standard 
by ACM is by no means automatic. 
For example, ACM voted against ap- 
proval of the proposed Ada standard 
because most of the letters from 
members were very negative. 

Because I am chairman of the ACM 
Special Interest Group on Computer 
Uses in Education (SIGCUE), I was 
appointed to coordinate the public- 



review process of BASIC standards 
for ACM. I am collecting letters and 
pooling comments as they arrive. 

A number of letters have come in, 
and in addition, a public forum on 
the subject was held at the annual 
meetings of the ACM in Dallas on 
October 27, 1982. This forum offered 
the public an opportunity for discus- 
sion following presentations by 
several members of the ANSI BASIC 
Committee, including Carlyle Phillips 
of Texas Instruments and Thomas 
Kurtz of Dartmouth College. 

ANSI BASIC versus 
ANSI Minimal BASIC 

The ANSI BASIC (X3J2) Commit- 
tee has been working on a standard 
for eight years. During this prolonged 
effort, the members produced an 
earlier proposal, which was officially 
adopted in 1978. But that standard is 
a minimal subset and for that reason 
was called Minimal BASIC. Now that 
X3J2 is recommending another stan- 
dard BASIC, some semantic confu- 
sion has developed. The current pro- 
posed version includes extensions far 
beyond most existing implementa- 
tions of BASIC, yet X3J2 is simply 
calling it BASIC, not Extended 



194 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BASIC. Unfortunately, at the same 
time, some people refer to Minimal 
BASIC as ANSI BASIC, which strict- 
ly speaking it isn't. 

To further confound communica- 
tion, the ANSI BASIC proposal con- 
tains several major "optional" com- 
ponents, namely, graphics, editing, 
fixed decimals, and real-time com- 
mands. Therefore, it will not be 
possible to conform to the standard 
without having a computer equipped 
with graphics capabilities. Conse- 
quently, programs and implementa- 
tions of ANSI BASIC that do or do 
not employ optional components 
may differ substantially, making pro- 
gram interchange difficult. 

Positive Reactions 

Before describing the negative com- 
ments and proposed revisions, I will 
summarize the comments favorable 
to the proposed standard. (I want to 
emphasize that these are preliminary 
comments, and a full summary will 
not be forthcoming until the spring or 
summer of 1983). 

We have received several com- 
ments that are vague but supportive: 
for example, "it's about time," and 
"excellent." Other reactions were 
more specific. Philip Bouchard, 
Senior Programmer at the Minnesota 
Educational Computing Consortium, 
said, "I have long had a wish list (for 
BASIC). ... At the top of my list are 
control structures, independent sub- 
routines, and multiple-character 
variable names. For these features 
alone, the new standard is well 
worthwhile." 

Most educators have been enthusi- 
astic, largely because of the struc- 
tured orientation of the new ANSI 
BASIC, which includes the following 
control structures: 

IF. . .THEN. . .ELSE. . .END IF 

DO UNTIL. . .LOOP 

DO WHILE. . .LOOP 

DO. . .EXIT DO. . .LOOP 

SELECT. . .CASE. . .CASE. . .END SELECT 

In addition, the user can enter exter- 
nal subroutines with a CALL state- 
ment. Line numbers can still be used, 
but under the new standard, pro- 
grams can be written easily without 
the use of any internal line numbers. 



In fact, the version of ANSI BASIC 
that Dartmouth College is now 
developing does not even allow line 
numbers. 

The graphics features of the pro- 
posed standard BASIC have received 
a cautious welcome from the educa- 
tional computing community. While 
consensus on the need for more 
graphics exists, some teachers prefer 
turtle graphics as used in Logo lan- 
guages. Others are skeptical about 
the success of a useful graphics stan- 
dard in BASIC when the graphics 
hardware for existing microcom- 
puters varies so much. 

The proposed BASIC standard is 
especially welcomed by high school 
teachers who do not want to switch 
from BASIC to Pascal in their pro- 
gramming classes. An example of the 
problems currently faced by educa- 
tors is the fury created by the an- 
nouncement of the College Board AP 
(Advanced Placement) test in com- 
puter science because it is based upon 
Pascal. The College Board committee 
for computer science has said, how- 
ever, that if there were a common 
version of BASIC in a structured 
form, an AP test could be developed 
for BASIC as well. If ANSI BASIC or 
a structured variation were to be 
widely implemented on educationally 
popular microcomputers, the lan- 
guage would probably become ex- 
tremely popular in programming 
classrooms. 

Negative Reactions 

Not all educators are happy with 
the new BASIC proposal. Alfred 
Bork of the University of California, 
Irvine, exclaimed, "Why would one 
want to revise an old creaky language 
when there are better languages 
around?" His greatest objection to the 
ANSI BASIC proposal is the omission 
of data-type declarations. Professor 
Kurtz's response was that, first of all, 
without data typing it is much easier 
to write programs and, second, if 
BASIC had data typing, it would be 
indistinguishable from other lan- 
guages such as FORTRAN. In some 
instances, simplicity has been the 
criterion guiding the formulation of 
the latest attempt to standardize 
BASIC. 



196 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




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Ironically, one of the most com- 
mon complaints about the newly pro- 
posed ANSI BASIC is that it is so 
complex (because it incorporates all 
standard features and some optional 
ones) that its implementation on an 
actual microcomputer will be ex- 
tremely difficult without a very large 
memory and faster microprocessor 
operating speeds. If this is true, it 
may be some time before ANSI 
BASIC interpreters will be available 
for small computers. 

The only contemporary implemen- 
tation of BASIC that comes close to 
the proposed ANSI BASIC standard 
is the new VAX BASIC from Digital 
Equipment Corporation. Until an ex- 
tensive BASIC such as that proposed 
by X3J2 is up and running on a small- 
scale microcomputer, many persons 
will continue to doubt the viability of 
the proposed ANSI BASIC. 

A few technical criticisms have 
been registered. For example, one 
programmer complained about the 
replacement of ON ERROR GOTO 
with WHEN EXCEPTION USE, 
which he perceives as semantically 
more cumbersome. 

Another technical comment came 
from a BASIC product specialist at 
Data General (see "Letters" column, 
October 1982 BYTE, page 18). He 
pointed out how a DIM statement can 
be bypassed inadvertently in a pro- 
gram. When bypassed, arrays cannot 
be used to test conformity to the 
bounds defined by the array dimen- 
sion. A minor addition to the stan- 
dard could solve the problem. 

Despite the apparent comprehen- 
siveness of the ANSI BASIC pro- 
posal, several people asked that the 
standard go even further. One com- 
ment was, "Why can't a disk-ex- 
change format be established for 
SVi-inch disks? The committee will 
say this is out of their territory, but 
why have a language standard if I 
have to keyboard the program into 
each new microcomputer I have to 
run it on? ... A software format 
standard is the answer." 

Another expansionist request was 
for a more powerful editor and con- 
sistent operating-system protocols. 
The proposed standard has an op- 
tional editing subsystem; however, it 



198 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 361 on Inquiry card. 



is limited and does not even specify 
normal text-editing functions such as 
character inserts and deletes. If every 
BASIC environment had identical 
syntax for editing commands as well 
as for operating-system commands, 
computing in a multimachine context 
would be considerably more user- 
friendly. 

Philosophy of a Standard 

The underlying philosophy of the 
proposed BASIC standard seems 
slightly different from that of other 
languages, such as FORTRAN, in 
that numerous extras are defined as 
optional modules rather than as 
miscellaneous extensions. Their inclu- 
sion in the official standard implies 
that they are desirable but not essen- 
tial. Confusion may result because 
every implementation will almost cer- 
tainly be a partial implementation, 
and conformity to the standard will 
be less meaningful because each im- 
plementer must also specify the op- 
tional features of his or her version of 
BASIC as well as the departures from 
the core standard. This is a major 
criticism of the proposed ANSI 
BASIC in that it may not solve 
software-incompatibility problems. 
With so many features defined as op- 
tional, it may be difficult to en- 
courage programmers to clearly 
demarcate optional and nonstandard 
commands within a program. 

Professor Kurtz replies that the 
major goal of the new ANSI BASIC is 
student interchange, not program in- 
terchange. "We want students," he 
argued, "to be able to use what 
they've learned elsewhere and, with- 
out total retraining, continue their 
learning experiences." To the extent 
that this philosophy is shared, it 
would be more appropriate to call the 
standard a model rather than a rule 
by which to measure conformity. 

Several companies (e.g., Digital 
Equipment Corporation and Hewlett- 
Packard) have committed themselves 
to adding new BASIC features in the 
spirit of the proposed ANSI standard. 
The new VAX-11 BASIC Version 2.0 
contains most of the proposed fea- 
tures. Dartmouth College is imple- 
menting the ANSI standard but add- 
ing extensions and deviations (e.g., 



line numbers are not allowed as state- 
ment identifiers). These projects show 
that having an ANSI BASIC standard 
is feasible, but they also forecast a 
continuation of diversity among 
BASIC implementations. 

The new standard appears to be 
more loosely defined than most other 
language standards; however, the in- 
tended purpose seems not so much to 
produce uniformity among versions 
of BASIC as to steer BASIC imple- 
menters toward a common target and 
thus increase the chances that any 
given BASIC program will be usable 
with different versions of BASIC. ■ 



What's Your Opinion? 

To date only a few reactions have 
been heard. Far more grass-roots 
opinions are needed. If you are reading 
this before the summer of 1983, you 
still have time to influence the verdict 
on ANSI BASIC. Send your comments 
to the author of this article so that they 
can be pooled and channeled into the 
decision process. 

Copies of the "Draft Proposed Stan- 
dard for BASIC" are available from X3 
Secretariat, CBEMA, 311 First St., NW, 
Suite 500, Washington, DC 20001. 



Tune up your LA36 



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perform like a DECwriter® III. 

The Datasouth DS120 gives your DECwriter® II the high speed printing 
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LA36 logic board which can be installed in minutes. Standard features 
include: 



• 165 cps bidirectional printing 

• Horizontal & Vertical Tabs 

• Page Length Selection 

• 110-4800 baud operation 

• 1000 character print buffer 

• X-on, X-off protocol 

• Self Test 



• RS232 interface 

• 20 mA Current Loop interface 

• Top of Form 

• Adjustable Margins 

• Double wide characters 

• Parity selection 

• Optional APL character set 



Over 5,000 DS120 units are now being used by customers ranging from 
the Fortune 500 to personal computing enthusiasts. In numerous instal- 
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Circle 144 on Inquiry card. 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 199 



How to mak 
work like a 




First, neatly cut out the "370" label. 

Now, when nobody's looking, non- 
chalantly tape it to your terminal, just under the 
"IBM" as if it really belonged there. 

Then wait for your chance and quickly 
slip a dBASE II™ disk into 
your main drive. 
That's it. 

Your IBM Personal 
Computer is now ready to 
run a relational database 
system, the kind that IBM 
put on their mainframes last year. 
And you're ready with more data han- 
dling power than you would have dreamed 
possible before dBASE II. 

You'll wonder how you managed without it. 

You'll find that dBASE II, because it's a 
relational database management system (DBMS), 
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dBASE II handles multiple databases 
and simplifies everything from accounting to 
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the Upper Volta. 

With a word or two, you CREATE data- 
bases, APPEND new data instantly, UPDATE, 
MODIFY and REPLACE fields, records and 
entire databases. Organize months worth of data 
in minutes with the built-in REPORT. Do sub- 
field and multi-field searches, then DISPLAY 
some or all of the data for any condition you 
want to apply. 

And you've just begun to tap the power 
of dBASE II. 

Easy to look at, easy to use. 

Input screens and output forms couldn't 
be easier— just "paint" your format on the CRT 
and what you see is what you'll get. 

200 BYTE February 1983 




You can do automatic calculations on 
fields, records and databases, accurate to 10 digits. 

And you can use dBASE II interactively 
for answers right now. Or save your instruc- 
tions, then repeat everythin g with two words: 
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Use dBASE II to help make your choice: 

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use free for 30 days. 






your micro 
mainframe. 




Instead of just poring over a manual, run 
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Then if you find it isn't right for you, 
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questions asked. 

But if you do that, you'll have to remove 
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works like dBASE II. 

Call (213) 204-5570 today or drop by 
your local computer store for the rest of the story. 

Ashton-Tate, 9929 Jefferson Blvd., 
Culver City, CA 90230. 



Ashton-Tate 



Circle 33 on inquiry card. 

©1982 Ashton-Tate 

CP/M is a registered trademark of Digital Research 



BYTE February 1983 201 



IBM, APPLE and ATARI USERS> 



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202 BYTE February 1983 



Circle 345 on Inquiry card. 



NAPLPS: A New Standard 
for Text and Graphics 

Part 1: Introduction, History, and Structure 

A close look at an important and controversial 
new communications standard. 



Personal computers have a great 
deal in common. Several of them use 
the same microprocessor. Most have 
the same language in read-only 
memory (BASIC). And all use more 
or less the same keyboard. But there 
is a tremendous variation in the ways 
various computers handle graphics. 

In order to mass-produce graphics 
software or to mass-distribute 
graphics information (as in videotex 
and teletext), a standard for graphics 
information is needed. 

The North American Presentation- 
Level-Protocol Syntax (NAPLPS, or 
"nap-lips" ) is a method for encoding 
visual information in a standard and 
compact manner, which can then be 
exchanged among people using a 
variety of different computer 
systems. Like the well-established 
American Standard Code for Infor- 
mation Interchange (ASCII), 
NAPLPS is a set of rules and conven- 



About the Authors 

Jim Fleming and William Frezza are members 
of the ANSI X3L2 Committee on Character 
Sets and Coding. Mr. Fleming is also working 
on Chemical Bank's Pronto home-banking 
project. 



Jim Fleming 
Unir Corporation 

Suite 106 

5987 East 71st St. 

Indianapolis, IN 46220 

William Frezza 

Jerrold Division 

General Instrument Corporation 

2200 By berry Rd. 

Hatboro, PA 19040 



tions describing how data bytes of in- 
formation should be formatted, as 
well as a set of guidelines describing 
what should be displayed when prop- 
erly formatted data bytes are received 
by a terminal. 

Unlike ASCII, however, the major 
emphasis in NAPLPS is on the com- 
munication of information in a two- 
dimensional graphics format. 
Graphics and textual information can 
be represented in a variety of modes, 
colors, and styles. Facilities are also 
provided that allow a terminal user to 
interact with the two-dimensional 
visual display in an extremely free- 
form manner. 

NAPLPS also includes a method 
for minimizing the amount of infor- 



mation that must be sent over com- 
munications lines. Techniques 
are provided that allow extensions to 
be added to NAPLPS at some future 
time without affecting existing 
features. 

The basic concept of NAPLPS can 
be illustrated by the cartoon in figure 
1 on page 204. It shows a robot artist 
being fed a stream of commands that 
are used to paint a picture. At the 
robot's disposal are pens of various 
colors, spray paints, character 
templates, and all the other items 
found in an art studio. 

With various commands, we can 
direct the robot's arm to any area of 
the canvas we desire. We can instruct 
the robot to use any of several stan- 
dard colors, or we can tell it to create 
a new color from the existing ones. 
When text is needed, the robot selects 
the proper-size template for the 
desired letters, grabs a can of spray 
paint, places the template on the can- 
vas, and paints a character. 

The goal of this system is that the 
beauty and complexity of a picture 
should be limited only by the imag- 
ination and skillfulness of the person 
(or program) creating the commands 
being fed to the robot. 



February 1»»3 © BYTE Publications Inc 203 




y 








w 



.e* 9 ^ 



lili- 



Wl 



LfU — - 



/A*-v- 



Figure 1: /I stylized representation of how the NAPLPS system works. The programmer or artist creates a list of graphics commands, 
e.g., "get red pen," "draw a circle." The robot (or NAPLPS decoder) then interprets these commands and uses various drawing in- 
struments such as pens, brushes, rulers, and compasses to draw on the canvas (display screen). If a text character is specified, the 
robot uses an appropriate template for that character. 



This article is the first in a series of 
articles on NAPLPS. In this part, we 
give an overall perspective of 
NAPLPS, describing its history and 
background, as well as its structure 
and major features. In subsequent 
parts, we will cover the basic text and 
graphics features of NAPLPS from a 
bit and byte perspective, describe 
some of its more advanced features, 
and explore the future of NAPLPS 
with an emphasis on personal com- 
puters, local and regional area net- 
works, and distributed processing. 

History and Background 

NAPLPS has its roots in videotex, 
a much-discussed system of large host 
computers and low-cost, user- 
friendly graphics terminals. Because 
of the large potential market for these 



terminals, many groups around the 
world have been designing such 
systems for use in homes, offices, and 
public areas. As shown in figure 2 on 
page 206, a basic videotex system 
consists of a host computer with a 
database of information, a com- 
munication network, and a terminal. 
The terminal users request informa- 
tion from the database, and the 
desired information is sent back to 
the terminal, where it is interpreted 
and displayed. 

Unfortunately, all the experimental 
systems designed around the world 
used different coding schemes. As is 
the case with most languages, the 
various coding schemes had different 
strengths and weaknesses. Some were 
more efficient than others; some were 
more easily decoded by terminals; 



some preserved the "conceptual" con- 
tent of the information; and some 
were tailored to particular hardware 
configurations. 

At the time NAPLPS was devel- 
oped, videotex coding schemes could 
be divided into two major groups. In 
one group were schemes that were 
similar to the approach used in the 
British Prestel system, which was the 
first videotex effort in the world. The 
other group of schemes is best rep- 
resented by the Telidon system 
developed in Canada as an alterna- 
tive to the Prestel system. As is the 
case with many developments in the 
computer field, being first does not 
imply being the best. 

Table 1 on page 210 compares 
Prestel-like systems and Telidon-like 
systems. Without going into all the 



204 February 1°83 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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Circle 41 on Inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 205 




INFORMATION FLOW 



USER 



NETWORK 

• TELEPHONES 

• CABLE TV 

• HYBRIDS 




HOST 
COMPUTER 



DATABASE 



INFORMATION PROVIDER 



Figure 2: A diagram of a typical videotex system. Videotex is defined here as two-way communication of textual and graphical infor- 
mation between a low-cost, user-friendly terminal and a large, central host computer. Communication can be by telephone lines, 
television cables, or a hybrid system using a broadcast television channel for information sent from the host computer and using 
telephone lines for information sent from the terminal. 



technical, emotional, and political 
history, suffice it to say that NAPLPS 
was designed using Telidon-like sys- 
tems as a base. 

In May 1981, AT&T created a bit 
of commotion by releasing documen- 
tation for a new Telidon-like scheme 
called PLP (Presentation-Level Proto- 
col) at the Videotex '81 conference in 
Toronto. Since that time, continuous 
efforts have been underway in 
various standards groups to adopt 
PLP. 

NAPLPS is a standard version of 
PLP that resulted from a joint effort 



by the American National Standards 
Institute (ANSI) and the Canadian 
Standards Association (CSA). Copies 
of the draft proposed NAPLPS stan- 
dard (document #BSRX3.110-198X) 
can be obtained from CBEMA (Com- 
puter and Business Equipment Manu- 
facturers Association, X3 Secretariat, 
Suite 500, 311 First St., NW, 
Washington, DC 20001). 

This series of articles will provide 
an overview of the features of 
NAPLPS. The specific details and ex- 
amples presented in these articles are 
not meant to form a complete 



NAPLPS specification. Anyone inter- 
ested in doing development work us- 
ing NAPLPS should obtain a copy of 
the ANSI document. 

Layered Protocols 

Modern communication systems 
are designed in a layered or modular 
manner to help prevent extensive sys- 
tem redesign when parts of a system 
are changed. Layering achieves many 
of the advantages found in good 
structured system design. By isolating 
functions in various layers, we can 
proceed to standardize and imple- 

Text continued on page 210 



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206 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 267 on inquiry card. 



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Characteristic 



Prestel-like 
Systems 



Telidon-like 
Systems 



Comment 



Very much Very little This is the main advantage of 

NAPLPS. It is not based on 
special circuits or 
architectures. 
Poor Excellent There is no comparison. It 

would be like trying to 
compare 8-mm home 
movies to 35-mm theater 
films. 

Yes No Prestel wins this one. 

Unfortunately, most things 
in life that are easy are 
not worth much. 

No Yes Many thought this was an 

advantage and an objec- 
tive worth achieving. May- 
be they don't know how to 
program microprocessors. 

No Yes While some were asking 

"Why?," others were say- 
ing "Why not?" 

No Yes Prestel wine again. Now that 

16K bits are cheaper than 
4K, this hardly seems a 
victory. 

No Yes Most are still trying to figure 

out what this means and 
why it is useful. 

No Yes This certainly can be dis- 

puted. Time will be the 
judge. 
Less More A valid point but hardly an 

issue for a level-6 
protocol. 

Low ???? The true bottom line in some 

people's books. But how 
much did a personal com- 
puter cost 10 years ago? 



Table 1: A comparison of two types of graphics encoding systems for use in videotex 
applications: Prestel-like systems and Telidon-like systems. NAPLPS is one of the 
latter. 



Video-display 
hardware 
dependence 

Image 
complexity 



Easily decoded 
by terminals 



Requires 
microprocessor 
terminal 



Works with 

printers, 

plotters, etc. 
Memory 

intensive 



Preserves 
"conceptual" 
content 
information 

Can be extended 
for years 

Sensitive to 
errors in the 
communication 
channel 

Cost 



ment a system for one layer without 
regard to details of other layers. 
Because layering is an abstract and 
sometimes confusing topic, we will 
use a simple example of communica- 
tion between two people to illustrate 
the concept. 

As shown in figure 3 on page 212, 
when two people converse, their 
basic goal is to communicate ideas to 
each other with as much understand- 
ing as possible. We shall regard these 
ideas themselves as the first level or 
layer of communication. This level, 
which may be considered the highest 



or most abstract, will be called 
conceptual level. 

In order for people to communicate 
these ideas, they must choose a 
language — say, English — as a set of 
rules for presenting the ideas. And 
with English come all the rules con- 
cerning grammar, sentence structure, 
and so on. We shall include English as 
part of a second level of communica- 
tion that we shall call the logical 
level. The ideas from the upper level 
would have to be expressed in this 
logical level before a transfer could 
take place between the two people. 



210 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Okidata MICROLINE 92 




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• Subscripts, superscripts, underlining, backspace, & forms control 

• Friction & pin feed paper handling takes up to 3-part forms (8.5") 

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Circle 57 on inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 211 




LAYERED PROTOCOLS 



HUMAN COMMUNICATION 




CONCEPTUAL 
LEVEL 



LOGICAL 
LEVEL 



PHYSICAL 
LEVEL 



IDEAS 



ENGLISH FRENCH 




IDEAS 



ENGLISH 



FRENCH 




SPOKEN WRITTEN SUNG 



MOUTH 



READ HEARD 
/ 
/ 
EARS 



•AIR MOVEMENT- 



Figure 3: A diagram showing how communication can be divided into a series of layered 
protocols. Here, the example of communication is a simple conversation in English be- 
tween two people. The conceptual level comprises the actual ideas to be communicated. 
The logical level comprises the language in which the ideas are to be expressed. The 
physical level comprises the physical phenomena that are used to convey the English 
words. In the case of speech, this involves movements of the mouth, air, and the 
listener's eardrums. 



LAYERED PROTOCOLS 



HUMAN COMMUNICATION 





CONCEPTUAL 
EVEL 



l =' r '-fS-'-' '''"-K' 



DEAS 




IDEAS 



LOGICAL 
LEVEL 




ENGLISH FRENCH 



SPOKEN WRITTEN SUNG 

\ 

MOUTH 

\ 

AIR MOVEMENTS 



ENGLISH 



FRENCH 



READ HEARO 

/ 

EARS 

/ 
AIR MOVEMENTS 



•TELEPHONE- 



Figure 4: // the conversation in figure 3 were conducted over a telephone, we could in- 
terpret this as a change of the physical layer. The advantage of layered protocols is that 
one layer can be changed without affecting the other layers. Although the physical level 
here has been changed, the logical level — English — is unaffected. 



Once English is chosen, a mecha- 
nism is needed to physically transfer 
the logical representations of the con- 
ceptual ideas from one person to 
another. This will be done on the 
physical level. In human communica- 
tion, several choices exist. The most 
obvious is speech. When we speak, a 
set of physical tools is used. The 
English constructs from the logical 
level are converted to movements of 
the diaphragm, tongue, and mouth, 
which result in the movement of air. 
The vibrating air is detected by the 
other person's ears (if she is listening) 
and is transferred into bone and mus- 
cle movements. The second person 
must decode these movements, re- 
create the English, and conceptualize 
the idea. 

This example can also be used to il- 
lustrate why layering is useful in pre- 
venting complete system redesign 
when changes are made. It can even 
be used to show how standard layers 
can be mixed and matched as the 
needs of a system change. 

Suppose that the two people are 
separated by a large distance and that 
a telephone must be used so that they 
can talk to one another. The lowest 
level (the physical level) is the only 
area affected. As shown in figure 4, 
the telephone and the telephone net- 
work are used to transport the sounds 
from one location to another. The 
logical English constructs can remain 
the same and the ideas can be com- 
municated. 

If French or German is substituted 
at the logic level, no changes need 
to be made to the physical level. The 
conceptual level may or may not be 
affected, depending on how adept the 
languages are in representing certain 
ideas. For example, when learning a 
second language, one usually runs 
into the case where an instructor 
says, "That idea really can't be 
translated into this language." 

As mentioned before, layering is 
done to prevent expensive system 
redesign when parts of a complex 
communication system are changed. 
Imagine how inconvenient it would 
have been if everyone had had to 
learn a new language when the 
telephone was invented. Or imagine 
how expensive it would be if a dif- 



212 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



GREAT NEWS FOR EVERYONE WITH A 

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Circle 306 on inquiry card. 



ferent telephone system were needed 
to speak different foreign languages. 

Data-communication systems have 
likewise been divided into various 
layers. A seven-level model promoted 
by the International Organization for 
Standardization (ISO) is typically 
used. A complete description of the 
model is beyond the scope of this arti- 
cle. In general terms, however, this 
seven-layer model, like our simple ex- 
ample, runs from the more abstract 
layers at the top (level 7) to the 
physical layers at the bottom (level 
1). Most of the work in standardizing 
data-communication protocols has 
heretofore been done at the lower, 
physical levels. 

NAPLPS is a standard for the sixth 
level, commonly called the presenta- 
tion level, of the seven-level model. 
In our example of human communi- 
cation, NAPLPS is similar to the 
logical (English, French, and German) 
level. NAPLPS has been designed to 
allow a large variety of information 
to be encoded in a manner that pre- 
serves the conceptual content of the 



information. NAPLPS codes can be 
physically transported between com- 
puter systems via modems and data 
links, floppy disks, magnetic tapes, 
and other common mechanisms. 

Code-Extension Techniques 

The coding of NAPLPS begins with 
bits and bytes. The 8-bit byte can be 
used to represent 256 unique patterns 
or code points. At first glance, the 
256 codes might seem to be a large 

In NAPLPS, 96-code 

sets can be swapped in 

and out of a large 

256-code table. 

enough set, especially if only letters, 
digits, and control information must 
be encoded. But in order to encode 
graphics coordinates, colors, graphics 
drawing commands, and advanced 
control information, more than 256 
codes are needed. The obvious solu- 
tion is to group bytes together se- 



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quentially to form an extremely large 
set of commands. This is similar to 
what occurs in English where the 26 
letters of the alphabet are grouped to 
form words. 

Grouping of bytes is commonly 
called code extension. Many code- 
extension techniques use the ASCII 
Escape character (ESC, hexadecimal 
IB, decimal 27) as an indicator that 
the next character has a special mean- 
ing. Many times, the next character 
indicates that more characters follow. 
(An example of this type of code ex- 
tension is the typical multicharacter 
Escape sequence for the cursor-posi- 
tioning sequence supported by many 
terminals.) 

This approach to code extension is 
fine for a small number of extensions, 
but tends to become a hodgepodge of 
inconsistent code sequences when a 
large number of extensions are de- 
fined. 

NAPLPS has been designed with an 
extremely general code-extension 
structure that is independent of the 
specific "meanings" of the codes, and 
is based on an ISO recommendation 
(ISO 2022.2). 

Keep in mind that up to this point 
we have been talking about codes as 
8-bit binary numbers in the decimal 
range to 255. No meaning has been 
placed on the codes. Because of the 
widespread use of ASCII, many peo- 
ple assume that a capital "C" must 
always be coded as a decimal 67, as it 
is in ASCII. The assumption is also 
made that the value 67 cannot be used 
to code anything but capital Cs. In 
order to fully understand NAPLPS, 
you must first realize that the rela- 
tionship that exists between the 
capital C and 67 is by convention and 
not due to some physical limitation of 
computers or an act of God. Further- 
more, you must realize that the 
decimal value 67 (or any code) can be 
given other meanings in other con- 
texts as long as an indication is given 
as to which context is currently in 
effect. 

The basic strategy underlying code 
extension in NAPLPS is to take a 
large table of codes (128 or 256) and 
divide it into smaller sets of codes 
that can be "swapped" in and out of 
the large table. The small code sets 



214 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 105 on Inquiry card. 



WHICH OF THESE DISPLAYS WERE GENERATED 
BY A PERSONAL COMPUTER? 



Every single one of them. And 
not just generated, either. The instru- 
ment settings were configured, 
signals acquired, and analysis per- 
formed via a personal computer, 
also. An Apple II®, to be specific. 
Equipped with Disk II®, 48K mem- 
ory, DOS 3.3 and a remarkable, 
make that revolutionary, engineering 
breakthrough known as the Model 
85 aScope™. Remarkable because 
aScope transforms any computer 
in the Apple 1 1 series into a dual chan- 
nel, DC to 50 MHz repetitive signal 
bandwidth (25 KHz real time sam- 
pling rate), fully programmable, 
digital memory oscilloscope. Revolu- 
tionary because it does all this for 
less than $1,000. 

The way we achieved this cost re- 
duction was by not following the path 
of conventional instrument archi- 
tecture, combining a stand-alone 
programmable oscilloscope with a 
general purpose computer controller. 
Instead, we integrated. Making 
aScope a peripheral. Supplying only 
what was needed to make the per- 
sonal computer a high performance 
instrument. 

Result? An oscilloscope system 
that allows you to configure a setup, 
define the analysis you desire and 
produce an end result display in the 
most useful format. Many frequently 



performed routines are already part 
of aScope's software. But more im- 
portantly, the system's architecture is 
designed to accommodate consider- 
able user modification via co- 
resident BASIC or assembly language 
programs. (One example: the user- 
defined program to plot the ampli- 
tude response of an active filter 
shown in display 1 above.) 

aScope will average waveforms. 
Store waveforms on disk in binary or 
text files. Store instrument settings 
for automated setup. Or load and 
display a reference waveform from 
disk (display 3 above). 

aScope also delivers waveform 
voltage readings utilizing a cursor- 
controlled digital voltmeter 
(display 2). And generates 
hard copy via an Epson 
MX-80™orSilentype® 
printer. 

Space permitting, 
we'd go on about aScope' 
menu driven single keystroke com 
mands (display 4), its sub-menus with 
complete prompting and so forth. But 
frankly, we suspect you're probably 
as intrigued as you could be on the 
basis of one ad. 

So here's how to find out more. 
Call 800-547-4445. This will pro- 
vide you with the name of the aScope 
representative or authorized com- 



puter dealer in your area, as well as 
an opportunity to invest $10 in our 
comprehensive aScope demonstra- 
tion disk. 

The Model 85 aScope. We admit, 
the performance it delivers for the 
price is so remarkable, it may initially 
strike you as unbelievable. But then, 
when you think about all the break- 
through products this industry has 
seen over the last decade, sounding 
unbelievable at first is almost a 
tradition. 




NORTHWEST 
INSTRUMENT 
SYSTEMS, INC. 

RO. Box 1309, 

Beaverton, Oregon 97075 

800-547-4445 

(503) 297-1434 




Apple 1 1®, Disk II®, and Silentype® are registered trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. Epson MX-80™isa trademark of Epson America, Inc. 



Circle 304 on Inquiry card. 



16 



128 
CODES 


128 
CODES 



GL 



96 
CODES 



96 
CODES 



256-CODE TABLE 



(0) 



CO 
(32 CODES) 



(b) 



CI 

(32 CODES) 

(C) 



F iB ure 5- With an 8-bit code, 256 combinations are possible. These can be represented 
oTal6 Z 16 table (a). For convenience, this large table can be dvoukdinto two 
128 code tables (Z)Each of these 128-code tables can then be further subdued into a 
32-code table and a 96-code table (c). 



can include codes with similar charac- 
teristics. The sets can have standard 
names, and a standard mechanism 
can be established to control the 
swapping. New sets can be added as 
long as a unique name is chosen. 
Because a standard mechanism would 
already be in place to handle the 
swapping, the new code set could be 
added without affecting other sets. 
Up to now, we have been talking 



mainly about an 8-bit code. Actually, 
two code-extension techniques are 
supported in NAPLPS: 7-bit and 
8-bit. The 7-bit extension technique is 
used in systems where only 7 data bits 
can be passed through the lower, 
physical levels of communication 
(levels 1 through 5). The eighth bit is 
often reserved for parity so that er- 
rors can be detected. In a seven-level 
system, error control is usually per- 



formed at level 2. Because NAPLPS is 
a level-6 protocol, the error-control 
bits have already been handled prior 
to the data's reaching level 6. 

The 8-bit code-extension technique 
is used when all 8 data bits are avail- 
able for NAPLPS information. This is 
the method that is used in systems 
where the low-level protocols can 
support 8 bits. It will also be used 
when files containing NAPLPS are 
exchanged between users via disks 
and tapes. Because of the eventual 
widespread use of the 8-bit code- 
extension technique, it is the one that 
will be described in this article. 

With 8 data bits, the 256 codes or 
patterns can be grouped in the form 
of a table with 16 rows and 16 col- 
umns (16 X 16 = 256), as shown in 
figure 5a. 

The 16 by 16 table can be divided 
into two sets of 128 codes, as shown 
in figure 5b. These two sets can each 
be partitioned into sets of 32 and 96 
codes (32 + 96 = 128), as shown in 
figure 5c. The 32 codes will occupy 
two columns of the original 16 by 16 



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216 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc Circle 338 On inquiry card. 



• Ill 



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OR CLIP AND MAIL THE ATTACHED COUPON Circle 341 on Inquiry card. 



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COMPUTER 
SPECIALTIES 

(619) 579-0330 

MAIL T0:1251 BROADWAY 
EL CAJON, CA. 92021 



Circle 280 on Inquiry card. 



DEFAULT CO 



DEFAULT CI 



CO SET 



CI SET 



\ 
DESIGNATION AND ESC, 

INVOCATION OF 2/1, 

C-SET (F) 



INVOCATION OF 
GRAPHICS SETS 



DESIGNATION OF 
G-SETS 




ESC,2/9.(F) 
ESC, 2/13, (F) 



ESC, 2/10, (F) 

ESC,2/14,(F) 

I 



7 

ESC, 2/11, (F) 
ESC, 2/15, (F) 



ESC, 2/8, (F) 
ESC, 2/12, (F) 



DRCS 



MACRO SET 



MOSAIC SET 



PDI SET 



SUP 
CHAR SET 



G-SET 
REPERTORY 



PRIMARY 
CHAR SET 



/ 



. 7/11 

7/10 

7/13 

5/7 
7/12 

4/2 



(F) CHARACTERS 

Figure 6: A diagram showing the NAPLPS code-extension technique in an 8-bit environ- 
ment. By swapping various 96-character graphics sets into and out of the graphics areas 
of the "in use" table, we can access a large number of characters or commands. Four 
graphics sets (or G-sets) are selected from the G-set repertory and placed in designated 
sets (GO through G3). Then, two of these designated sets are placed in the graphics areas 
(GR and GL) of the 256-code "in use" table. Various code sequences (e.g., ESC 6/14) or 
control codes (e.g., SI) are used to swap the G-sets. The notation "6/14" represents the 
number 6E in hexadecimal. "(F)" refers to a single-code name of a particular G-set. 



table; the 96-code set will require six 
columns. 

As you can see, the large 256-char- 
acter table has now been divided into 
four smaller regions. These regions 
(or sets) allow us to group codes of 
similar use into tables of manageable 
size. The two small tables are called 
control sets or C-sets; the two large 
tables, graphics sets or G-sets. 

As we mentioned before, a mecha- 
nism has been designed to allow a 



variety of code sets to be swapped in- 
to and out of these four areas of the 
large table. Currently, however, 
code-set swapping is done only with 
the large 96-character G-sets. 
Although a mechanism exists for 
swapping the small areas (C-sets), it is 
not being used at this time. 

Before a G-set is swapped into one 
of the large areas, it must be selected 
from a repertory and placed into one 
of four designated sets. Two of these 



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Febniary 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 219 



designated sets are then placed into 
GL and GR, the two large areas in 
figure 5c. Codes are then interpreted 
based on the current G-sets that are in 
use in the large table. 

Figure 6 illustrates this mechanism 
for the 8-bit code-extension tech- 
nique. The arrows and labels indicate 
special code sequences that are used 
to cause the swapping. Most of these 
code sequences begin with the Escape 
character. The notation "6/14" used 
in figure 6 is an alternate way of 
specifying a code with a specific bit 
pattern. On a 16 by 16 table, 6/14 
represents the bit pattern that refers 
to column 6 and row 14 of the table. 
In hexadecimal, 6/14 would be 6E; in 
decimal, (6 X 16) + 14 = 110. 

To move a G-set from the reper- 
tory to one of the designated sets, a 
three-character sequence is used. The 
third character in the sequence (repre- 
sented by "(F)" in figure 6) is the 
"name" of the G-set. Each G-set has a 
unique name that is specified in the 
NAPLPS standard. For example, the 
name of the ASCII G-set is 4/2 (42 in 



hexadecimal). To move the ASCII 
G-set from the repertory to the GO 
designated set, you would use the 
following sequence: ESC, 2/8, 4/2. 
New G-sets can be added at a later 
date by specifying a new name that 
has not been used. 

If figure 6 looks confusing, the 
following analogy may help. Imagine 
that figure 6 illustrates a complex 
jukebox that has a number of albums 



The Primary Character 

Set contains 96 "oldies 

but goodies "... 



(G-sets) stored in a rack (repertory) 
and four turntables (designated sets 
GO, Gl, G2, and G3). Buttons are 
available (e.g., the sequence ESC, 
2/8, (F)) that allow you to specify 
which album should be placed on 
which turntable. Furthermore, this 
jukebox has two sound systems (GL 
and GR). And more buttons 



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(SO— Shift Out, SI— Shift In, ESC 
6/14, etc.) are provided that allow 
turntables to be connected to one (or 
both) of the sound systems. 

As we continue our analogy, imag- 
ine that each album has exactly 96 
songs, and that the turntable can very 
quickly locate and play any of these 
songs. Furthermore, both sound 
systems have 96 buttons that can be 
used to select and play any of the 
songs instantly. 

It should be noted that in order to 
lessen the amount of record changing 
involved, four turntables are provid- 
ed. With two sound systems, we can 
have two albums or 192 (96 X 2) 
songs available instantly. Also, we 
can have another 192 songs available 
simply by switching the correct turn- 
table to a sound system. We can play 
an almost unlimited number of songs 
if we are willing to go to the trouble 
of selecting an album, placing it on 
one of the turntables, switching the 
turntable to one of the sound sys- 
tems, and finally selecting a song. 

At this point, you are probably 
wondering what this has to do with 
text, graphics, NAPLPS, and the 
price of tea in China. You are also 
probably wondering what albums are 
available in the repertory. 

NAPLPS currently has six selec- 
tions available in the repertory (this 
record industry is still in its infancy). 
The Primary Character Set, also 
known as ASCII, is full of 96 oldies 
but goodies like 0, 1, 2, . . . A, B, C, 
and x, y, z, etc. The Supplementary 
Character Set is full of 96 new and old 
international favorites, most of which 
are rarely played in the U.S. These in- 
clude a and /3. The Picture- 
Description Instructions album 
(PDIs) contains selections like "Line," 
"Arc," and "Draw Me a Polygon." 
Some of the hottest hits going are on 
this album. The Mosaics album is full 
of some very old songs that all sound 
the same. It is seldom played except 
by people over 40. The Macro album 
contains songs that cause other songs 
to be played. (You get a lot for your 
quarter here.) The Dynamically 
Redeemable Character Set album 
(DRCS) is initially blank. It can be 
used to mix existing songs together to 
form new songs. (Yes, on this juke- 

Text continued on page 224 



220 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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COMMANDS 

MOVE TO (0.5, 0.25) 
LINE (+0.45, +0.125) 
LINE (-0.45, +0.375) 
LINE (-0 25, -0.25) 
ARC (+0.125, -0 125, 
+ 0.125, +0.125) 
MOVE TO (0.413, 0.578) 
CIRCLE (0.05, 00) 



(0 



, 1.0) 




(1.0 


1 




1 


«• 


/ ° 


' ^V 


• 




i 



(0 0, 00) 



(1.0, 0.0) 



UNIT SCREEN 



Figure 7: The unit screen of NAPLPS. All coordinates are represented as fractions be- 
tween 0.0 and 1.0. The figure on the screen was drawn with the commands listed on the 
left. The advantage of this coordinate scheme is that it can be easily implemented on 
display screens of various resolutions and sizes. 



-(0.0, 1.0) 



(1.0, 1.0)- 



(0.0, .75) 




(0.0, 0.0) 



(1.0, 0.0)- 



Figure 8: The unit screen is square, but most display screens are rectangular. The con- 
vention that has been adopted is to represent on the display screen only the lower 75 
percent of the unit screen. That is, any point with a y coordinate greater than 0. 75 will 
not be seen. 



box you can record as well as play.) 

As mentioned before, default selec- 
tions have been set up so that no 
swapping commands are needed in 
many applications. As shown in 
figure 6, the ASCII character set is the 
default for the GO designated set, and 
whatever is in GO is the default for 
GL. Therefore, the codes in GL 
(decimal 32 to 127) will be mapped to 
the ASCII character set as the default 
condition. (Isn't it amazing how the 
simplicity of the present can be 
represented as a subset of the com- 
plexity of the future?) 

The default for the Gl designated 
set is the PDI set, and Gl in turn is the 
default for GR. This arrangement 
allows text and graphics to be used 
without any swapping. 

The default for G2 is the Sup- 
plementary Graphics Set, and the 
default for G3 is the Mosaic Set. We 
believe that the Macros and DRCS 
should have been the defaults. When 
you devise a standard, however, 
sometimes a little "default 
diplomacy" is necessary. 

The entire NAPLPS code-extension 
structure is designed to support future 
growth in an organized manner. As 
can be seen, it provides a means of in- 
creasing the number of codes far 
beyond the 256 codes we would have 
had if there were no code-extension 
techniques. The overhead has been 
kept to a minimum while maintaining 
compatibility with existing ASCII 
systems. 

The Unit Screen 

and Coordinate System 

Now that we have plenty of room 
for character sets and commands, we 
can get down to the real purpose of 
NAPLPS — creating pictures. 

In NAPLPS, pictures are drawn on 
a unit screen. As shown in figure 7, 
the unit screen is a square area of 
unknown resolution and size. The 
lower left corner of the screen has x-y 
coordinates equal to (0.0, 0.0); the 
upper right-hand corner of the screen 
has x-y coordinates of (1.0, 1.0). 

The name "unit screen" is derived 
from the fact that all coordinates in 
the unit screen have an x and y com- 
ponent between 0.0 and 1.0. In 
NAPLPS, all coordinates and dis- 



224 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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-SIGN BIT (0, POSITIVE 
1, NEGATIVE) 



8 BITS 





OJ 




00 


,_, 


CO 


10 


f-4 










^ 


^ 


^s 























1 





1 


1 





1 






-BINARY 
POINT 



BOTH NUMBERS 


REPRESENT THE 


SAME DECIMAL 


VALUE 




1 X 


1/2 


= 0.5 


x 


1/4 


= 0.0 


1 X 


1/8 


= 0.125 


1 X 


1/16 


= 0.0625 


X 


1/32 


= 0.0 


1 X 


1/64 


= 0.015625 


+ Ox 


1/128 


= 0.0 






= 0.703125 



00 to c4 cy 

(O O* ^ M (O ^h o 

— < m u> ~* C4 w •-• 



16 BITS 



0101 101000000000 

I I I I I I I I I I I I ' ' ' 



-BINARY 
POINT 



FIXED-POINT BINARY FORMATS 



Figure 9: NAPLPS coordinates are formatted as "fixed-point binary numbers." The 8- 
and 16-bit numbers given here represent the same decimal number, 0. 703125. 



tances are specified thus in subunits 
relative to the unit screen. The advan- 
tage of specifying the coordinates in 
this manner is that the pictures will be 
independent of any particular hard- 
ware configuration. Another advan- 
tage is that objects in pictures will re- 
main in the same relative position 
with respect to each other even 
though the resolution of the physical 
display may be increased. 

In order that pictures may be seen, 
the unit coordinates must be mapped 
to a physical display. The only re- 
quirement imposed (under normal 
conditions) when making this map- 
ping is that the squareness (common- 
ly called aspect ratio) of the unit 
screen should be preserved. Unfor- 
tunately, when the unit screen is 
mapped to the rectangular screen of a 
television set, some of the unit screen 
cannot be seen. This is shown in 
figure 8. The convention that has 
been adopted is that only the lower 75 
percent of the unit screen will be visi- 
ble on the physical screen. Thus, any 
point with a y coordinate greater than 
0.75 (it is usually closer to 0.78) will 
not be displayed on a television 
screen. 

This technique of mapping points 
on the unit screen to the physical 
screen is called one-to-one mapping. 
In the future, additional mapping 



techniques may be added to NAPLPS 
that will allow the unit screen to be 
scaled, rotated, and mapped to the 
physical screen in a variety of ways. 
These capabilities will be added at the 
same time that three-dimensional 
features are defined. 

Now that we know that all coor- 
dinates must be between 0.0 and 1.0, 
a problem arises: How do we repre- 
sent these coordinates? Floating-point 
representations could be used. But 
this would make it difficult for 
integer-oriented microprocessors to 
handle the coordinates. Instead of a 
floating-point format, a fixed-point 
binary (not binary-coded decimal or 
BCD) format was chosen. This for- 
mat is the same as a typical integer 
format, except the binary point is 
assumed to be on the left between the 
sign bit and the data bits. Figure 9 il- 
lustrates the formats for 8- and 16-bit 
systems. 

The important thing to note about 
this format is that, unlike integers, as 
more bits of precision are added, they 
are added on the right instead of the 
left. Also, the values of the binary 
places work from the left to the right. 
The value of the bit position im- 
mediately to the right of the binary 
point is 1/2. The next bit position to 
the right is worth 1/4. The next ones 
are worth 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, etc. 



The decimal value of a number is 
determined in a manner similar to in- 
tegers. A number such as 
0.1011010000000 represents a posi- 
tive number (the sign bit of 0) equal 
to 1/2 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/64 or 
0.703125, which of course is less than 
1.0. An infinite number of zeros is 
assumed on the right of the number, 
just as with decimal numbers that are 
less than 1. Of course, the number 
will never equal 1.0 no matter how 
many Is are placed on the right. (If 
you do not believe it, try figuring out 
what the fixed-point binary number 
0.111111111111111 is in decimal.) 

When coordinates are encoded in 
NAPLPS, each byte can contain 6 bits 
of data. (The other 2 bits will be ac- 
counted for later.) The standard two- 
dimensional format is shown on the 
left of figure 10 (page 227). On the 
right side of figure 10 is a three- 
dimensional format. Some three- 
dimensional capability is supported 
by NAPLPS today, but many more 
three-dimensional options will be 
available in the future. In that case, 
coordinates are specified in a unit 
cube rather than a unit screen. 

In the two-dimensional format, the 
6 data bits are used for 3 bits of x and 
3 bits of y. Obviously, multiple bytes 
are needed if high-precision coor- 
dinates are used. As shown in figure 
11, as each new byte is added to a 
coordinate specification, the x and y 
components each obtain 3 more bits 
of precision. The least significant bits 
are obtained after the most significant 
bits. A terminal may choose to throw 
away some of the least significant bits 
if more bits are sent than are needed 
for the resolution of that particular 
terminal. 

When most people are first exposed 
to this method of coordinate encod- 
ing, their first reaction is that it will 
be too complex for a simple micro- 
processor to handle. On the contrary, 
there is a very easy way to handle this 
encoding technique: just ignore the 
binary point and the fractional con- 
cepts and treat the bits as integers. 

To do this, you must first choose 
an adequate integer size for internal 
representations. On 16-bit micropro- 
cessors, 16 bits are commonly used. If 
signed 16-bit numbers are used, a grid 



226 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






can be set up that ranges from 
-32,768 to 32,767 in both the x and y 
directions (see figure 12). The display 
screen or unit screen would occupy 
the first quadrant. The unit screen 
would then be 32,768 by 32,768, 
which is far more resolution than 
almost all graphics devices have to- 
day. 

In this 16-bit internal form, an in- 
teger such as 0100000000000000 
would have a decimal value of 
16,384. This is equal to Va of 32,768, 
which should not be surprising 
because we originally said that the 
binary number 0.100000000000000 
was equal to Vi (it's all done with mir- 
rors!). The integer 0101101000000000 
that we used before would of course 
be equal to 23,040 (16,384 + 4096 + 
2048 + 512). A quick check with a 
calculator shows that 23,040/32,768 
is exactly 0.703125. (Does this 
number look familiar?) 

It should be clear that treating the 
fixed-point binary numbers as normal 
integers is the same as moving the 
binary point 15 places to the right (for 
a 16-bit system), which is the same as 
multiplying the binary fractions by 
32,768. We can recover the fractional 
form by dividing by 32,768, which 
was demonstrated above. 

In order to map the unit screen to a 
physical display screen, more simple 
shifting can be used. The sign bits of 
the x and y components must be posi- 
tive for the coordinate to be in the 
unit screen. If the rightmost 7 bits of 
the 16 bits above are dropped by 
shifting the integer right seven places, 
the numbers that result are in the 
range to 255. 

This operation maps the 32K- by 
32K-bit grid to a 256 by 256 grid. 
Each point on the 256 by 256 grid 
then represents a 128 by 128 area on 
the original grid. This indicates that 
when 16-bit integers are used, 128 
would have to be added to a coor- 
dinate component to move to a dif- 
ferent point on the physical display. 

If a 512- by 512-bit-resolution 
display screen is available, another 
bit on the right of the coordinate in- 
teger would be saved. (The 16-bit in- 
teger would be shifted right six places 
instead of seven.) In this case, each 
point on the 512 by 512 grid 



TWO-DIMENSIONAL MODE 
t>7 b s b 5 b 4 b, b, b, b 



THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODE 



X 


1 


± MSB 

1 1 


+ MSB 



X 


1 


LSB 


LSB 



b 7 


»6 


"5 


o* 


"3 


»2 


b l " 


X 


1 


± 


MSB 

! 


± 


MSB 

i 


± MSB 

i 








• 


• 
• 




• 


X 


1 


LSB 

I 


LS8 


LSB 
I 



Figure 10: In NAPLPS, coordinates are specified with a varying number of bytes. In the 
two-dimensional mode, each byte contains 3 bits of the x coordinate and 3 of the y. In 
the three-dimensional mode, each byte contains 2 bits each for the x, y, and z coor- 
dinates. MSB indicates the most significant bit; LSB, the least significant bit. 



-DATA-BYTES STREAM 
1 



1 



S X X S Y Y 



XXX Y Y Y 



01 XXX YYY 



1 XXX YYY 



s x x : x x x 

__1 — 1 — I — I — I — 




SIGN 
BIT 



X COORDINATE 



Y COORDINATE 



BINARY 
POINT 



(SHOWN IN 16-BIT PRECISION) 



Figure 11: The data bytes shown in figure 10 can be combined to specify coordinates of 
almost unlimited resolution. Here, 4 data bytes in the two-dimensional mode are com- 
bined to form a pair of 12-bit coordinates. This would support a resolution of 2048 by 
2048. 



(0,32767) 



(32767, 32767) 



(-32768,0) 



UNIT 
SCREEN 



(0,0) 



( 32767,0) 



(0, -32768) 



Figure 12: The maximum resolution of a 16-bit coordinate system. The unit screen oc- 
cupies only the first quadrant of the grid. 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 227 



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228 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 248 on inquiry card. 



represents a 64 by 64 area on the 
original grid. Adding 128 to an in- 
teger in this case would move the 
coordinates by two display points, 
not one. If this did not occur, pictures 
developed for a 256 by 256 grid 
would end up in the lower corner of a 
512 by 512 display. That lack of por- 
tability would discourage increasing 
the resolution of the terminal. For- 
tunately, with NAPLPS we can in- 
crease the resolution of a display and 
still be able to receive pictures 
developed for older displays. They 
will look as good or better on the new 
display. 

So far, we have discussed only 
positive coordinates and integers. 
Negative values can occur in the nor- 
mal two's complement form used by 
most microprocessors. Negative 
values can be used to code relative 
coordinates (dx and dy values) when 
relative movements are needed, 
rather than absolute coordinates. The 
values dx and dy can also be used to 
indicate sizes of areas on the screen. 

Part 2 of this series will describe 
how the dx and dy values are used to 
specify character sizes. We will also 
see that many of the graphics com- 
mands have an absolute form and a 
relative form. The absolute forms are 
used when the drawing must appear 
at a particular spot on the unit screen. 
Relative forms are useful when one 
wants to draw relative to the current 
drawing point, which may be in dif- 
ferent places depending on the pre- 
vious figure. 

Color Control 

NAPLPS supports a wide range of 
color control. Three color modes (0, 
1, and 2) are available to satisfy many 
different applications. The first of 
these (color mode 0) is fairly simple 
and is designed to be compatible with 
almost all color display screens. The 
other two (color modes 1 and 2) use 
what is known as color mapping. 
This allows you to create some fan- 
tastic visual effects, but this technique 
requires special hardware not found 
in most color displays. 

Color mode is the most primitive 
mode in NAPLPS. It can best be 
described by the following analogy 
using the robot mentioned at the 



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BYTE February 1983 229 



■DATA-BYTE STREAM 




« 


R R R 





»l 


t 


RED 








^MOST 








SIGNIFICANT 






BIT 







GREEN 



BLUE 



Figure 13: Color information is encoded in a manner similar to that used for coor- 
dinates. Each data byte contains 2 bits of information for each of the primary color 
components: red, green, and blue. A varying number of bytes can be combined to 
specify colors with almost unlimited precision. Here, 2 data bytes have been combined 
to yield 4 bits of information on each red, green, and blue component of a color. 



beginning of the article. Imagine that 
the robot has one pen and three ink- 
wells filled with the primary colors 
red, blue, and green. By mixing 
various amounts of each of these col- 
ors in the pen, the robot can draw in 
almost any color. For example, we 
could instruct the robot to mix three 
drops of red, one drop of blue, and 
seven drops of green, and then tell the 
robot to draw various shapes or text 
characters. When we tell the robot to 
mix a new color, the robot would 
automatically clean out the pen and 
mix the next color. 

In NAPLPS, color is similarly 
specified in terms of its red, green, 
and blue intensities. Each byte of col- 
or data contains 6 bits of color infor- 
mation, 2 each for red, green, and 
blue. Several bytes, however, can be 
grouped together so that colors can 
be specified with as much precision as 
desired. In figure 13, 2 bytes have 
been used to yield a total of 12 bits of 
color information (i.e., 4096 possible 
colors). As with coordinate encoding, 




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230 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc Circle 339 On Inquiry Card. 



Circle 161 on inquiry card. 



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Circle 20 on inquiry card. 



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5 









If you just bought another computer, 
boy are you gonna be sorry 



Epson. 



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learn computers; a computer you can be 
using within minutes. 

And fortunately, you don't have to take 
our word for it. Here's how Byte, one of the 
computer industry's most prestigious maga- 
zines, describes the QX-10. 
The first anybody-can-use-it computer. 
"The Epson QX-10 (is) a computer for less 
than $3000 that may well be the first of a new 
breed of anybody-can-use-it 'appliance' 
computers ... In addition to being a highly 
integrated word processing/computer sys- 
tem that offers as much usable processing 
power as almost any existing microcompu- 
ter, the QX-10 . . . system is designed to be 
used by people with minimal technical 
knowledge. We've certainly heard that 
claim before, but Epson has delivered on 
this promise in a way and to an extent that 
no microcomputer manufacturer has done." 

That's nice to hear from a magazine like 
Byte, of course, but it doesn't surprise us. 
It's just what we intended the QX-10 to be 
all along. 

More computer. Less money. 

But useability isn't the only thing the QX-10 
has going for it. As Byte says, "the QX-10 
gives you a great deal for your money. 

"Help is available at any time through the 
HASCI (Human Application Standard 
Computer Interface) keyboard Help key . . . 
Text can be entered at any time just as you 
would in a conventional word processor. 
The Calc key turns the system into a basic 



4-function calculator. Graphics can be cre- 
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key gives you access to a computer-kept 
appointment book, a built-in clock/timer/ 
alarm, and an event scheduler." 

Advanced hardware for advanced 
software. 

As for hardware, Popular Computing, 
another industry leader, says: "The QX-10 
includes ... a number of advanced hardware 
features . . . The basic components of the 
system are a detachable keyboard, a high 
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You won't have to wait much longer. 
The new Epson QX-10 may very well be the 
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longer — it will be appearing soon in com- 
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meantime, write Epson at 3415 Kashiwa 
Street, Torrance, CA 90505, or call (213) 
539-9140. We'll be happy to send you copies 
of our reviews. 

After all, as Popular Computing puts it, the 
QX-10 will "do for computing what the 
Model T did for transportation." 

And we couldn't have said it better 
ourselves. 




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Microline 80. Parallel $359 

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DISPLAY 
MEMORY 

256X 256X4 
BITS 

32K BYTES 



4 BITS 



1 BIT 



D/A 

IE 



RED 



D/A 

IE 



GREEN 



D/A 



TO MICROPROCESSOR 



INTENSITY 
(COMMON) 



BLUE 



COLOR 
MONITOR 



O 
O 

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16 FIXED COLORS 



DISPLAY 
MEMORY 

256X256X4 
BITS 

32K BYTES 



4 BITS 



COLOR 
MAP 

16X12 

BITS 



\ r 

TO MICROPROCESSOR 



7 



12 BITS 



O/A 



GREEN 



D/A 



BLUE 



COLOR 
MONITOR 



O 
O 

® 



4096 VARIABLE COLORS 



Figure 14: Two popular schemes for storing color information. Both use the same 
amount of display memory. In the top scheme, the 4 bits for each pixel specify 16 fixed 
colors. In the lower scheme, the 4 bits specify 16 color registers in the color map. Each 
color register in turn specifies one of 4096 colors. D/A designates a digital-to-analog con- 
verter. 



the most significant bits are sent first, 
and a terminal is free to ignore the 
least significant bits. 

With this kind of system, a tremen- 
dous spectrum of colors may be 
displayed, depending on the amount 
of memory available. 

Most personal computers have 
only a small number of colors 
available. In the above analogy, the 
robot might have 8 or 16 pens with 
premixed colors. When we gave the 
robot instructions to mix a certain 
color, it would merely pick the pen 
with the color closest to the specified 
color. 

The advantage of color mode is 
that it can be received on almost all 
terminals. An inexpensive color ter- 
minal can display the same pic- 
ture — although much less vividly — as 
an expensive, dedicated graphics ter- 
minal. 

Color mapping, which is used in 
color modes 1 and 2, allows a ter- 
minal to display a wide spectrum of 
colors without requiring a large 
amount of memory. The Atari 400 
and 800 are two of the few home 
computers that make use of this 
technology (see "Computer Anima- 



tion with Color Registers" by David 
Fox and Mitchell Waite, BYTE, 
November 1982, page 194). 

In color mapping, if we return to 
the above analogy, the robot has the 
three primary-color inkwells again 
and a set of, say, 16 pens numbered 
through 15. Using NAPLPS, we can 
instruct the robot to mix various col- 



With NAPLPS, an 

inexpensive color 
terminal can display 

the same picture— 
although much less 

vividly— as an 
expensive, dedicated 

graphics terminal. 



ors in each of the pens. We can then 
instruct the robot to draw with a 
given pen, referring to it by its num- 
ber rather than by its color. In a com- 
puter, we would store the color infor- 
mation not in a pen, but in a color 
register as part of a color map or col- 
or table. 



In figure 14, we compare a system 
using fixed colors with one using col- 
or mapping. Both have the same 
amount of display memory (32K 
bytes). In the fixed-color system, the 
4 bits in memory for each pixel 
specify one of 16 combinations of 
red, green, blue, and intensity. In the 
color-mapped system, the 4 bits refer 
to one of 16 color registers, each of 
which in turn refers to one of 4096 
combinations of red, green, and blue. 

Another important advantage of 
color mapping is that if we instruct 
the robot to change the color in a 
given pen, everything previously 
drawn with that pen will also change 
color. This amazing capability can be 
used to create some dramatic anima- 
tion effects. These effects are typical- 
ly referred to as color-table anima- 
tion. 

Color-table animation is a very 
complex area of NAPLPS. A mecha- 
nism has been provided that allows 
you to specify color interchanges in 
the color map based on timed rela- 
tionships. (This command has been 
given the innocuous name BLINK.) 
Time intervals can be set in units of 
y l0 of a second, which allows com- 
patibility with 60-Hz (U.S.) and 
50-Hz (Europe) systems. Color-table 
animation will be discussed in greater 
detail in the third part of this series. 

As we mentioned before, the major 
drawback of color modes 1 and 2 is 
the dependence on special hardware 
to achieve the full capabilities of the 
modes. This drawback was known at 
the time NAPLPS was designed, but 
it was determined that because of the 
incredible special effects that can be 
achieved using these modes they 
would be included. Anyone who does 
not have a need for these special ef- 
fects should concentrate on using col- 
or mode to insure portability of in- 
formation. 



Text Features 

Text is handled as a subset of 
graphics. Text is a special form of 
graphics that involves predefined 
"templates" that are rectangular in 
shape. The rectangular templates can 
be scaled to any size and positioned 
anywhere on the unit screen. The 



Ftbniary 1983 © BYTE Publications lnc 235 



Circle 169 on Inquiry card. 



CP/M 
GRAPHICS 
SOFTWARE 

PLOTWARE-z 

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not shown. The value of bit 7 would depend on which graphics area (GL or GR) this 
G-set was placed in. 



236 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



If you think 
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TARBELL DATABASE SYSTEM consists of a series of programs that use a common file format. These 
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MANUFACTURER OF COMPUTERS, 
COMPONENTS AND SOFTWARE 

CP/M, MP/M and CB80 are trademarks of Digital Research. 



















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Figure 16: TTie Supplementary Character Set of NAPLPS. 



"pattern" on the template is trans- 
ferred to the screen, overwriting only 
those areas drawn with the template. 
As mentioned earlier, NAPLPS 
currently specifies three fixed 
character sets and one redefinable 



character set. The Primary Character 
Set (ASCII) is shown in figure 15 on 
page 236. Most text is taken from this 
set. The ASCII character set is the 
default for the GO and GL sets in 
figure 6. Therefore, it is accessed via 



the usual codes, 32 through 127 
decimal. 

A Supplementary Character Set 
has also been specified in NAPLPS 
(see figure 16). This character set con- 
tains a smorgasbord of symbols and 
international characters. Most appli- 
cations will require only a few of 
these symbols. This character set is 
the default for the G2 designated set, 
and must be moved to GL or GR be- 
fore these characters can be accessed. 

The Mosaic Character Set is the 
third of the fixed sets (see figure 17 on 
page 242). Although the Mosaic 
characters do not look like text 
characters, they are treated exactly 
like text because of their rectangular 
shape. The Mosaics have very little 
use because of the extensive graphics 
capabilities contained in NAPLPS. 
The Mosaics are the default for the 
G3 designated set. Thus, they cannot 
be directly accessed without a G-set 
change. (We should have made it 
harder than that to use.) 

The fourth text set in NAPLPS is 
the Dynamically Redefinable Char- 
acter Set (DRCS). The templates in 
this character set are initially blank 
rectangles. We can define each tem- 
plate, however, by using NAPLPS to 
draw a pattern on the unit screen and 
mapping that pattern to the template. 
The pattern can be drawn with either 
graphics or text commands. Once the 
template is defined, it can be used just 
like any other character. (Yes, ex- 
isting DRCS characters can even be 
used to define a new DRCS 
character.) Thus, the 96 characters in 
the DRCS set can be used to create 
custom fonts and special symbols. 

NAPLPS provides a variety of text- 
oriented features, which can be ap- 
plied to any of the four text sets. 
Figure 18 on page 244 illustrates 
many of the available capabilities. In 
parts 2 and 3 of this series, we will 
describe how these features are 
selected and applied. 

Graphics Features 

The graphics instructions (or 
primitives) are specified using codes 
from the Picture-Description Instruc- 
tion (PDI) G-set. As shown in figure 
19 on page 246, the PDI G-set is a 
96-character set that is divided into 



238 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



With ASCOM . . . 





personal computer communication 

has never been this easy. 



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

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

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

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



WESTICO 

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

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

□ Please send me an ASCOM program & 
documentation: $175.00 * 

□ The ASCOM documentation only: $30.00 * 

□ FREE: Catalog of over 250 available programs. 

C.O.D Visa MasterCard 



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Name 

Company 

Address 



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_St.. 



-Zip_ 



("Plus $3.00 shipping and handling in N. America. Ct. 
residents add 7V2% sales tax.) 

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



ASCOM features: 

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

.Transfers both text and program files 
between computers. 

. Protocols to synchronize large file 
transfers. 

. Remote mode permits control of 
another micro running ASCOM. 

• Automatic processing with com- 
mand files. 

.Commands for displaying directories 
and files. 

To order ASCOM, call or write today: 

WESTICO 

The Software Express Service 

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




For years, people have been 
trying to build a better Apple* II. 

It finally happened. 

Meet the Apple lie, an 
impressive new version of a 
most impressive machine. 

The "e" means enhanced. 
Which means a bundle of new 
features: 

A standard memory of 64K 
(versus 48K) that's easily 



expandable. So you can create 
fatter files and crunch larger 
numbers of numbers. 

A new, improved keyboard, 
with a complete set of ASCII 
standard characters. Plus full 
cursor controls, programmable 
function keys, and a rapid 
auto-repeat feature built into 
every key on the board. 

Both upper and lower case 



characters. (And if you want 
to see more of them on the 
screen at one time, a low cost 
80-column text card is available.) 

Improved peripheral ports. 
Which make it a lot easier to 
connect and disconnect game 
controllers, printers and all 
those other wonderful things 
that go with an Apple Personal 
Computer. 



Except for the front, 
back and inside. 




Self-diagnostics. That's a 
special feature that makes it 
easy to give your computer a 
thorough check-up. 

Plus an even more reliable 
design. Achieved by reducing 
the number of components— 
which is to say the number of 
things that could go wrong. 



And bear in mind, the He 
still has all those other virtues 
that made the Apple II so very 
popular. Including access to 
more accessories, peripheral 
devices and software than any 
other personal computer you 
can buy. 

So visit any of our over 1300 



authorized dealers, and see the 
newest Apple for yourself. 

Like the original, it's rather 
extraordinary. But then some 
things never change. 



apple 



The most personal computer. 

Circle 26 on inquiry card. 



Call (800) 538-9696 for the location of the authorized Apple dealer nearest you, or for information regarding corporate purchases through our National Account Program 
In California (800) 662-9238. Or write Apple Computer Inc., Advertising and Promotion Dept., 20525 Mariani Ave,, Cupertino. CA 95014. « 1983 Apple Computer Inc. 









1 1 


| »t o 1 


1 1 


■■■■■■■ 


■■■■■■ 


h h h h 2 3 4 

b 3 b 2 b l b 


5 6 7 


o 




a 






a 


u 


1 | 


□ 


D 






a 


□ 


ooio 2 


□ 


H 






a 


a 


ooii 3 


B 


n 






B 


D 


oioo 4 


B 


E 






a 


■J 


oioi 5 


B 


1 






ft. 


L 


oiio 6 





H 






a 


B 


0111 7 


H 


E 






H 


I 


iooo 8 


H 


H 






3 


S 


iooi 9 


H 


H 






a 


a 


ioio |0 


a 


h 






i 


j 


10 11 || 


H 


n 






i 


a 


lioo 12 


s 


e 






§ 


i 


1101 13 


s 


b 






i 


i 


1110 14 


a 


i 






i 


i 


iiii 15 


i 


i 




I 


i 


■ 



Figure 17: The Mosaic Set. 



two smaller sets. The first 32 
characters are graphics operation 
codes. These op codes are used to 
specify text control, drawing 
primitives, and color control. 

The 64 codes in the right four col- 



umns of the PDI G-set are used to en- 
code data for these op codes. These 
data bytes are encoded and inter- 
preted according to the preceding op 
code. Six bits are available for infor- 
mation in each byte. Many of the op 



codes require multiple data bytes to 
encode one data item. Coordinates, 
for example, are typically encoded in 
3 consecutive data bytes. 

As shown in figure 20 on page 250, 
this distinction of op codes and data 
within the PDI G-set leads to a conve- 
nient decoding structure. Once it has 
been determined that a code falls in 
the PDI set, bit 6 (the seventh from 
the right) can be used to determine if 
an op code is specified or data. If bit 6 
is 0, the byte is interpreted as an op 
code; if it is 1, it is a data byte. 

Such a distinction is necessary be 
cause the picture-description instruc 
tions have been set up so that < 
variable amount of data can follow 
an op code. The bytes following the 
op code are assumed to be data as 
long as bit 6 is a 1. 

Figure 21 on page 250 illustrates 
how text, graphics, and color can be 
integrated to draw a simple picture. 
Approximately 180 bytes of NAPLPS 
were needed to specify this picture. In 
parts 2 and 3, we will describe in 
detail how graphics commands for 
such pictures are encoded. 

Control 

Up to this point, the emphasis has 
been on the 96-character G-sets. Two 
C-sets (control sets), CO and Cl, are 
also specified in NAPLPS. These con- 
trol sets contain the codes needed to 
accomplish the G- and C-set swap- 
ping. They also contain codes for 
moving the cursor, controlling the 
DRCS, clearing the screen, and so on. 

Figure 22 on page 252 illustrates the 
CO and Cl control sets. The CO set 
should be familiar to those of you 
who have worked with ASCII. The 
Cl set contains a variety of codes 
associated with the new features of 
NAPLPS. 

A mechanism has been provided, 
but not used, that allows C-sets to be 
changed like G-sets. The C-sets were 
originally going to be used whenever 
a small (fewer than 32) number of 
similar codes were added to 
NAPLPS. As it turns out, the 
96-character G-sets have proven to be 
more useful. The C-sets have ended 
up becoming a catchall for codes that 
do not seem to "fit" (either physically 
or logically) anywhere else. This 



242 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



The UniFLEX 
Operating 
System 
extracts 



every 

~ Mm 




680* 



from the 8 bit 6809 microprocessor allowing it to 
outperform many 16 bit systems 



With the UniFLEX" Operating System, the 
8 bit 6809 microprocessor can 
perform as well as larger CPUs in a multi- 
user, multi-tasking environment. 

Independently developed from the 
ground up, UniFLEX™ closely models the 
features found in the UNIX 1 " Operating 
System. And in two years of use, UniFLEX™ 
has proven the abilities of the 6809 to 
perform large system functions when 
incorporated into a properly designed 
mainframe. 

Some of the features supported include: 

• full multi-user, multi-tasking capabilities 

• hierarchical file systems 

• device independent I/O 

• four Gigabyte disk capacities 

• full file protection 

• inter-task communication via pipes 

• I/O redirection 

• task swapping for efficient memory 
usage 

• full random-access files 

• comprehensive shell command 
language 

• foreground-background jobs 

• electronic mail and printer spooling 
system accounting facilities 



The support software currently available 
for use under UniFLEX™ Is extensive. 
Asampling of the programs available 
includes: 

• native C compiler (full 
implementation) 

• native Pascal compiler 

• FORTRAN 77 ANSI Subset compiler 

• COBOL compiler with ISAM files, Report 
Writer 8c Sort/Merge 

• Extended BASIC interpreter 

• Extended BASIC precompiler 

• text editing and processing software 

• enhanced printer spooler 

• variety of absoluteand relocatable 
assemblers 

• debug and diagnostic packages 

Technical Systems Consultants, Inc. also 
offers a line of single user FLEX™ software 
products for 6800 and 6809 processors. 
For those having an absolute need for a 
1 6 bit processor, UniFLEX™ will be avail- 
able through OEM licensing arrange- 
ments for the 68000 microprocessor. 
Please call orwrite for additional 
information on individual products or 
OEM licensing arrangements. 

UNIX'" is a trademark of Bell Laboratories. 
FLEX™ and UniFLEX'" are trademarks of Technical 
Systems Consultants, Inc. 




technical /y/tem/ 
con/ultanlv. inc. 



1 1 1 Providence Road 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514 

(919)493-1451 



Sc A lin. 



THIS IS WORD 
WRAP 

THIS IS NOT WO 
RD WRAP 



>C 



Proportional Spacing 



TO 

o 

H 
-H 



CHARACTER 

T 
H 



CURSOR CONTROL 



Figure 18: Some examples of the text and Mosaic features of NAPLPS. 



compromise was not desired, but 
compromises such as this occur fre- 
quently when standards are being 
developed. 

User Input 

Because of the heavy emphasis on 
text and graphics in NAPLPS, the 
user-input features are often 



overlooked. User input is needed to 
allow a terminal user to enter infor- 
mation that will eventually be sent to 
the central host computer. This input 
could be used to request information 
from a database, order products, 
schedule an airline reservation, or 
send electronic mail. 

User input has been integrated with 



the rest of NAPLPS in an elegant 
manner. Certain areas or fields of the 
unit screen can be designated as user- 
input areas. These areas are called un- 
protected fields. 

The user can enter information into 
the unprotected fields using a variety 
of input devices such as keyboards, 
light pens, joysticks, graphics tablets, 
and even a "mouse." Information 
entered in the fields is stored as 
NAPLPS data. The user must even- 
tually indicate (usually via a Send 
key) that all the information has been 
entered and should be sent to the 
host. 

When the host computer receives 
the block of information, it may or 
may not decode it, depending on the 
application. For example, a graphics 
electronic-mail message would mere- 
ly be sent to the appropriate ad- 
dressee and would not have to be 
decoded. 

The text of a message does not have 
to be entered on rigid lines as in most 
terminal systems. In applications 
such as electronic mail, a user who 




A Complete Winchester/Floppy Disk System. 

Disk controller with 4 ports; supports wide range of drives; 5V*" 

and 8"drives can be on same cable. 

Z80 CPU includes 4MHz, 64KRAM, 2 serial I/O, 1 parallel, CTC 

Supports 10MB streaming tape. CP/M® and BIOS included. 

Package price: $1,195.00. 

May be purchased separately. Disk and streaming drives available. 



SIGEN Corporation 



1800 Wyatt Dr., #6, Santa Clara, CA 95054 
Contact: Allen Hauptman, 408/988-2527 

CP/ftA is o trademark of Digiloi Research. 



-w- 



BDOS ERROR 

ON B:BAD SECTOR 




Before disk errors ruin your work again order BADLIM. 

■ BADLIM assures the reliability of your CP/M 
computer. 

■ You can use your disks 1 times longer without 
losing your data AND your time. 

■ BADLIM checks thoroughly your disk marking all 
the blocks which have defective sectors. The 
operating system will know that those sectors 
should be skipped. 

■ BADLIM is the only program that gives protection 
for soft and hard errors. 

■ The first time BADLIM will list which files in your 
disk are on bad sectors, so you can take action to 
correct it. 

■ But thereafter the bad areas in your disk will be 
automatically by-passed. 

■ For CP/M 1 .4 single density and for CP/M 2.xx of 
any format and density. It is a must for Winchester 
as the media cannot be replaced. 

BADLIM cost only $73. Whatever the reason you have 

to use a computer you need BADLIM. Contact your 

dealer or call us today: 

BLAT R&D Corp., 8016 188th. St SW, Edmonds 

WA 98020. Phone: [206] 771-1408 _ ^ T ^ T -- .. 

DEALER INQUIRIES INVITED. J!»A L/ULM 



244 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 478 on inquiry card. 



Circle 56 on inquiry card. 




•ar 



SYSTEMS 



L?ADE^r^1A?TORDE^ISCOuRrS!| 



800 433-5184 



Texas 817/274-5625 



IBM Personal Computer 



INTERNAL DISKS FOR IBM 

Complete IBM Disk Systems SCALL 

Tendon Internal Disk . . single sided 160k I 
Tandon Internal Disk . double sided 320k | 

HARD DISKS FOR IBM 
Complete 5 meg. Systems . . . from $1SM 
Multi -computer Network Systems available | 

MONITORS FOR IBM 

Green - hi resolution from $69 

Matching PGS Color - super hi res . SCall | 

QUADBOARD FOR IBM 

Includes 64k to 256k additional Memory, 

Serial 6. Parallel Port and Calendar Clock | 

ADDITIONAL MEMORY FOR IBM 

16k Chips each $2 

64k Chips $Call | 

PRINTER FOR IBM 
Epson, Star & other matrix printers . $Call I 
NEC 3550 Spinwriter IBM version . . SCall | 



ATARI 



ATARI 800 COMPUTER 

ATARI 610 DISK DRIVES 

Percom Double Density EXT DRIVES 

ATARI 650 Interface and Cable 

Compatible PRINTERS and Cables 



First DISK DRIVE w/controller, DOS 3.3, 

cables and manual .... $419 

Second DISK DRIVE with cable .... $319 | 

APPLE to EPSON card and cable 

Z 80 Card fCall I 

RAM Card $ Call 

Printer Interface Cards SCall I 

Graphic Printer Interface Card $139 1 

Graphic Spooler Interface Card/16k to 64k I 



TANDON DRIVES 



TCS DRIVE CABINET Is industrial grade 
heavy guage metal, safely fused, and 
comes with gold plated external connector 
with extender cable. 



1 DRIVE in Cabinet 

40 track single sided $249 

SO track (dual sided 40 track) $329 

160 track (dual sided 80 track) $449 

1 DRIVE/Double Cabinet 

40 track single sided $289 

80 track (dual sided 40 track) $369 

160 track (dual sided 80 track) $499 



2 DRIVES Doubk Cabinet 



40 track alngle sided 

80 track (dual sided 40 tracka) . 
160 track (dual sided SO tracks) 



Drives in cabinets come assembled/tested 
with power supply. Order cable separately. 



BARE DRIVES ONLY 

40 track single sided $CALL 

SO track (dual sided 40 track) ... $CALL 
160 track (dual sided 80 track) . . iCALL 

8 Inch Slimline sgl/dbl sided SCALL 

Winchester hard drives 5-30 meg . $CALL 



CORVUS HARD DISK 



CORVUS HARD DISKS 

Call for '83 prices - lowest anywhere 

Add 5. 10 or 20 megabytes of storage to your TRS80, IBM, Apple, Atari, Heath, Zenith, 
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PRINTERS 



TCS has the LOWEST PRICES on IN STOCK PRINTERS! 
LETTER QUALITY PRINTERS MATRIX PRINTERS 



STAR GEMINI 

Better than Epson and costs less) 

100 cps . . 180 day warranty 

Bit Image AND Block Graphics 

Friction Feed and Pin Feed paper 

STAR GEMINI 10 (10 inch carriage) SCall 

STAR GEMINI 15 (15 Inch carriage) SCall 

C.ITOH 8510 / TEC / PMC $Call 

DMP 100 $349 

DMP 200 $669 

DMP 400 $1029 

DMP 500 $1564 

ANADEX 9501-A $1395 

CENTRONICS 352/353 $Call 

OKIDATA printers . . $Call for Low Prices 



C.ITOH F-10 (40 cps) $1595 

DAISY WHEEL II (RS) $1695 

NEC 3510 / 3530 / 3550 SCall 

NEC 7710 / 7730 $Call 

SMITH CORONA TP-1 $649 

BROTHER / COMREX $829 

EPSON PRINTERS 

EPSON MX 80 $CALL 

EPSON MX 80 FT $CALL 

EPSON MX 100 FT $CALL 

QRAPHTRAX PLUS come free In EPSONS 

Cables and Interfaces available 

for most popular computers 



For fast, efficient service Heart Of we can air freight from Dallas 

TEXAS COMPUTER SYSTEMS 

P.O. Box 1327 Arlington, Texas 76004-1327 

TEXAS ORDERS 817/274-5625 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 817/274-9221 

ORDER STATUS 817/277-1913 

TELEX/TWX/Easylink ELN 62100790 



800 433-5184 



No tax out of state Texans add 5%. Prices subject to change at any time. 



TRS-80 



TCS MODEL III 48k 2 DISK 

System coax w«fc 1M *> TCS sMeaa warranty. 



$1695 

With standard 40 track 

double density drives. 

Over 340.000 bytes. 

Includes TDOS. 



$1995 

With 2 dual headed 40 

track dbl density drives. 

Over 730,000 bytes. 

Includes DOSPLUS 3.4 
($150 value) 



Fully assembled and teated systems that are software compatible and functionally 
identical to Radio Shack units sold at computer stores for $hundreds more. 

□ CONTROLLER BOARDS are high quality double sided epoxy boards with gold 
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□ POWER SUPPLY la the finest switching type available. 

□ MOUNTING HARDWARE Includes power and data cables 

□ DISK DRIVES are Tandon, the same ones used by Radio Shack ... 40 track, double 
density, with a 5 millisecond stepping rate. 




TCS MODEL III DISK EXPANSION KITS 

1 Controller. Power Supply, Mounting Hardware 8 instructions $379 

2 Controller. Power Supply. Hardware 8 one 40 track Tandon drive $577 

3 Controller, Power Supply. Hardware, two 40 track Tandon drive*. 32k memory 

(everything you need for 2 drive 48k upgrade) $799 

3a Kit 3 but with two 80 track drives (dual sided 40a) $999 



3b Kit 3 but with two 160 track drives (dual sided 80s) 



$1169 



MODEL III SYSTEMS 

Original 90 day manufacturer's warranty. 

MODEL III 4k $598 

MODEL III 16k $Call 

MODEL III 32k $Call 

MODEL III 48k SCall 

MODEL III 48k 2 Drive RS232 SCall 



TCS MODEL III Systems use original RS 
hardware and quality TCS memory. 
180 day limited warranty. 

TCS MODEL III 16k SCall 

TCS MODEL III 32k $798 

TCS MODEL III 48k $826 

Green or Amber Langley Sinclair CRT for 
your customized Model III SCall 



COLOR COMPUTER 

Original 90 day manufacturer's warranty. 

COLOR COMPUTER 16k $249 

COLOR COMPUTER 16k ext $335 

COLOR COMPUTER 32k ext SCall 

COLOR COMPUTER DISK $479 

COLOR COMPUTER DISK 1 $349 



TCS COLOR COMPUTERS uae original 
RS hardware A TCS memory. 
180 day warranty. 

TCS COLOR COMPUTER 32k ext . . $379 
TCS COLOR COMPUTER DISK . . $449 
TCS COLOR COMPUTER DISK 1 . . $249 
TCS 32k MEMORY $79 



Model II . . Model 16 . . Accessories . . SCALL 

TCS is an authorized TRS-80 dealer F701 In Brady. Texaa 



DEALER INQUIRIES Invited on all TCS MODEL III Systems and Kits 



CUSTOM SOFTWARE FROM TCS 



BTREE Scratchpad 
$39.95 



BTREE Library 

$39.95 



BTREE Mail List 
$49.95 



TCS Exclusive THE PRODUCER $149.95 

The ultimate solution In creating your own custom software. If you're In a jam and can't 
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edit all fields at all times. Create a B-Tree structured file allowing you to access data 



> each field. Fully view and 



rapidly and without sorting. One key access to user-designed self-help or prompt 
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AND MUCH MUCH MORE. 
This system comes complete with Its own Disk Operating System. It will make you a 
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WRITE FOR FREE BROCHURE ON TCS PROGRAM GENERATOR 



Circle 334 on inquiry card. 



DISTINCTIVE 
for the 

IBM PC 




A Serious Monthly Magazine 
for the IBM PC User 

Each issue is packed with in-depth hardware 
& software reviews, detailed how-to articles, 
reader tips, Q & A, special interest columns 
and much more. ..clearly written for either 
novice or computer veteran. 

In Recent Issues: 

• A Primer on Modems. 

• Legal Rights of Software Buyers. 

• How to make your BASIC programs 

run faster. 

• Word Processing from A-Z. 

• BASIC v. Pascal: Which is for you? 

• How to Program your Printer for 

maximum performance. 

• Free Utility Programs 

DON'T MISS ANOTHER 
EXCITING ISSCJE- 
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For more info & foreign rates, write: 

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10057 Commerce Ave. 
Tujunga, CA 91042 




Figure 19: The operation codes (or op codes) of the Picture-Description Instruction 
(PDI) G-set. The four columns on the right (that is, bits through 5) are used as data for 
various op codes. 



246 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 






• ♦**;..«•••' 





- ^•*J--"^1 


*«*"** 


u ioot 






**t-^-""* 












'^5^. 






***V*sVi 



*<>5^r.„ ''.;—. .,•*•*,".," 






***** 




fip 







Introducing . . . 

The IS PipeLine" Random Access Printing Buffer. 

Insert pictures, graphics or spread-sheet data into reports DuDlirnte 

lou? SJo? rt m a ^ 0matiC ? l i y ch ° n 9 in 9 addresses on each Now a?* 
your programs can work together to produce printed output 

™ !te? w? time ever ' nere is a buffer tnat not on| V fr ©es your tast com- 
5nn ^ m vour i'° w P rinte r but also allows you to rearrange compose 
and copy your data on its way to the printer compose 

' K?v orrt^4nC r i ntln g~ st ?f s P araara P h s or pictures for printing 
in any order— any number of times 

■ FIFO Printing-conventional first-in first-out operation 
! lKi^ r t eSSI ? n of ^? ta fo / efficient utilization of memory space. 

te?m pSing" IOng " term buffer ^rations for straight-thru short- 

■ Simple Erase feature to clear buffer. 

■ Automatic duplication capability 

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

2?,?J?„ PipeLi, l e '? Un i. v ersal-it works with any parallel (Centronics •- 

^Sa^^ r &rt^ mbintMon ' A SPeCiC " VerSi ° n iS available for 

The IS PipeLine is a self-contained unit with operating manual cables 
and power supply included. <->... Iy munuai, codigs 

For more information on the truly revolutionary IS PipeLine Random 
Access Printing Buffer, call us today. om 

Interactive Structures Inc. 
146 Montgomery Avenue 
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 

Telephone: (215) 667-1713 'Centronrcsrs a trademark of Centronics Data Computer Core 

Circle 213 on inquiry card. The IS Pipeline™ Random Access Printing Buffer is patent pending. 




'LL NEVER 



imp 

tfRriputer is any computer that sits on a 
lie or desk top, without a TouchMat" static 
ve table mat directly under jt 

3" COMPUTERS ARE VULNEF 

the most frustrating static-rela 
s a computer user can encounte 
sous data transmission, tossj 
nage to discs or accesa^cards, 
ailure, or "unexplajp^down time. 

he dry winter heating season, you are 
i more aware of static electricity because 
fee/ it. However, your computer is 
)le to a much smaller ZAP than you can 
feel, and that level of static may occur at 
i of the year. Even air conditioning can 
te the problem by drying the air. 



A "NAKED" 



IT QNLY TAKES ONE ZAP to make your perfectly 
jfcal computer act irrational and temperamental, 
xperienced computer users know that static 
_ejectricity cannot be completely eliminated from the 

ftronment or the microcomputer, since people 
are prime generators of static. The best solution is 
to channel static charges harmlessly away before 
they have a chance to spark to sensitive' 
components and accessories, ^r 

Discharging to a met al .fljUBaMMW * may 
provide a false sensww^ BPKstatic charges 
are easily built up againjpl^ferson moves around 
at the computer. AjsjJPltal may create a 
potentially hazaajlJefe or annoying "hard spark." 
(You know. jrfPOUCH!) 



THE TOUCHMAT SITS ON THE TABLE, directly 
under the computer, within easy reach of your 
hands and fingers. To discharge static from your 
body, simply touch mat before turning on computer, 
and then periodically during operation. 

Discharging takes less than a second, does not 
produce a spark, and is absolutely assured by the 
simple fact that your skin contacts the mat directly. 
(The sweat layer of the human skin is a primary 
conductor of electricity.) Anytime your hands or 
wrists rest on the mat, static discharge is 
automatic. 






MP 




TouchMat 
INSTEAD. 




The TouchMat is made of a highly-engineered, 3-layer vinyl material 
that "pulls" static off your body without hard sparking, and then 
dissipates it through the mat at the optimum rate, draining it safely tc 
ground via a grounding cord. The static dissipation rates of the 
material have been extensively tested and field-proven during years 
of use in critical static control applications for military electronics 
manufacturing. (Remember, the 'chips" inside your computer were 
even more sensitive to static during manufacture.) 



■ YOUR FINGE 

Save $10 off the suggested retail price of $89. 
Take this coupon to your computer store or office 
supply dealer and ask for the TouchMat by name. 
For the name of your nearest TouchMat dealer, call 
toll-free: 

outside Minnesota only, 
dents call collect (612) 430-2062. 
i Cities area dial direct.) 

f not yet available in your area, you may order 
direct for a limited time only. Allow 4-6 weeks for 
delivery. Visa and MasterCard accepted. Shipping 
charges extra. 




SPECIAL 
"NTRODUCTORY OFFER 



Save $10 on the TouchMat! 

* Die retailer. Computerware Inc. will reimburse you for the face value ol thi 
coupon plus 20C for handling if you receive it on the sale of the specifie 
product and rf upon request you submit evidence of purchase of sufficier 
stock to cover coupons presented. Coupon may not be assigned, transferred c 
reproduced. Customer must pay any sales tax. Void where prohibited, taxed, c 
restricted by law. Good only in USA. Coupon will not be honored if presente 
through outside agencies, brokers or others who are not retail dislnbulors c 
our merchandise or specifically authorized by us to present coupons for re 
demotion. Mail to: Computerware Inc., 315 South Third Street. Stillwater, Ml 
55082 800-3284223*. (612) 430-2060 Minnesota, 
"outside Minnesota only 

This coupon good only on purchase of product indicated. Any other use const 
tries fraud and may void all other coupons submitted for redemption. 




Store Coupon B65432 



-SIGNIFIES OP CODE 



XO 



lcc c c c 



OP CODE 



r 



-SIGNIFIES OATA BYTE 



XI d d d d d d 



XI d d d d d d 



XI d d d d d d 



DATA 
BYTES 



ccccc-OP CODE, 0-31 

dddddd - 6 BITS OF DATA PER BYTE 

Figure 20: In the PDI G-set of NAPLPS, 
op codes are distinguished from data 
bytes by bit 6. If bit 6 is 0, the byte is an 
op code; otherwise, it is a data byte. 

has the appropriate input device can 
even send handwritten messages 
using NAPLPS as the encoding mech- 
anism. 

The best analogy to describe user 
input in NAPLPS is to imagine that 
the user is handed one or more blank 
sheets of paper. (When the three- 



POINTS « 



LINES 





ARCS 





RECTANGLES 




POLYGONS 



Figure 21: Some examples of pictures that can be created with NAPLPS instructions. 
Approximately 180 bytes would be used to encode the entire figure. The signature alone 
requires 51 bytes. 



dimensional mode is supported, the 
user will be given an empty box.) The 
user is able to type on the paper, 
draw a sketch on the paper, or do 
anything that his or her terminal 
allows. 

The "paper" is eventually passed to 
a host computer, where it can be for- 



warded to another user (electronic 
mail), stored for later recall, or 
analyzed by the host. The analysis by 
the host can be minimal or extensive, 
again depending on the application. 

At this point, remember that 
NAPLPS is only a sixth-level 
specification in a seven-level model. 



Get the best of your first micro. 



There's an easier way. 

It's called dBASE II™ a relational 
database management system that uses 
powerful, English-like commands. 

With a word or two, you create 
databases, append new data, update, 
modify and replace fields, records and 
entire databases. Display any informa- 
tion, report months worth of data in 
minutes and zip through input screens 
and output forms. 

You can use it interactively and get 
your answers right now. Or save your 
instructions and repeat everything with 
two words: do Manhours, do Project X, 
do whatever has to be done. 

It's being used for accounting, project 
management and hundreds of other 
applications. 

To try dBASE II free for 30 days, 
drop by your local computer store. 
Or if they're sold out, call us at 
(213) 204-5570. If you don't like it, 
you get your money back. 

But we think you'll keep it. 

Because having dBASE II is like 
having a black belt in micros. 



250 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




AshtonTate 



© 1982 Ashton-Tate 

CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research 



Circle 34 on Inquiry card. 






Deciding Which Computer to Buy 



Of the 1 .9 million people who bought small computers last 
year, over 20,000 of them bought the wrong computer for 
their needs. And no wonder. New products ore introduced 
into the market at a breathtaking pace. The language 
question. The terminology problem -RAMs, ROMs, bits, 
bytes, bauds, protocols and processors. What's important? 
What's standard and what's optional? Even the dealers ore 
confused. 

To help you tackle this problem, we pulled together many of 
our sources -including leading experts in the field, 
manufacturers, marketing analysts, computer dealers and 
customers. In addition, we utilized computer user groups, 
clubs and associations throughout the United States, contacts 
in Japan and numerous industry and business publications. 
COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 is the natural result of learning from 
the knowledge and mistakes of more than one million 
people. 

The following steps will help you with your computer 
shopping -whether you're buying your first computer, or 
updating the one you have. COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 can 
help you make the right decision. 

1 . What is the computer to be used for? 

You may want to use it for entertainment, financial planning, 
learning how to speak a foreign language, office work, 
drawing and many other tasks a computer does well. The 
possible uses of a computer are as varied as human activities. 

2. Which program will do the best job? 

There are thousands of application programs on the market 
to consider. It is the program that gives you the power to 
control the actions of the computer. You must choose the right 
application program. 

The first section of COMPUTER GUI DE 1 983 surveys each of the 
application programs available with computers today. 
Similar programs are grouped together and compared -one 
against another. COMPUTER GUIDE 1 983 contains over 2, 000 
application programs, grouped in over 100 categories 
-including programs for accounting, management, 
professional uses, word processing, graphics, research, 
games, learning and special applications. Programs are 
described using comparison charts -listing for each 
application program: the program name, computer(s) and 
system configuration(s) required, the documentation 
available and the price. 

COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 provides you with a quick and 
efficient way of deciding which application program and 
which computer and options for that computer can do the 
right job for you. 

3. The language? 

You cannot get a computer to do anything useful unless you 
know how to talk to it. This is no easy task. Dut, COMPUTER 
GUIDE 1983 can help. 

The second section of COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 guides you in 
selecting the right language. Different dialects of languages 
are grouped in their generic category. The BASIC language, 
for example, is a generic name and hos many dialects 
-including Microsoft Basic, Atari Basic, Basic Plus and Basic-80. 



COMPUTER GUIDE ond CESS ore trademarks of Computer & Electronic Supply 
Services. P.O. Box 345. MIT Branch P.O. Cambridge, MA 02139. 



Each of these languages have their own machine 
requirements. COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 provides the name, 
machine and machine requirements, documentation and 
price of over 500 dialects, for over 50 languages. COMPUTER 
GUIDE 1983 helps you solve the language problem. 

4. What about the machine? 

Depending on your needs, there will probably be several 
computers still in the running. Now the decision is based on 
the guts of the machines (hardware). COMPUTER GUIDE 1 983 
compares machine characteristics in an easy to follow 
format. You don't hove to be an electrical engineer to moke 
an intelligent decision. 

The solution is to work top down ond not to go any further 
down than is needed Your uses for the computer determines 
which machine characteristics are important. COMPUTER 
GUIDE 1983 divides the machine into five areas -the 
keyboard, video display, printer, other peripherals and I/O, 
processor and memory and direct access storage. These five 
areas correspond to your basic machine needs. For example, 
an accountant needs a keyboard with a numeric keypad; 
word processing requires o printer; games utilize a video 
display; a mathematician wants a very fast machine; lots of 
memory is best when using the LISP language; and so on, as 
the hardware combines with the application program to 
develop a complete computer system. 



COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 contains 
over 250 computer systems, 
manufacturers. Information is di 
-allowing you to get the informa 
have to bother with extraneous 
text. COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 can 
people in making the right dec 
decisions will be. 



machine descriptions for 
produced by over 150 
sployed in spreadsheets 
tion you need. You don't 
details and cumbersome 
accommodate millions of 
sion, as varied as those 



5. Where to buy the chosen computer system. 

COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 lists hundreds of vendors, by 
geographical location, and by the products they sell. It also 
provides additional consumer information . The first ship date, 
the ship rate, the number installed to date, prices and what 
that includes, purchasing terms and warranties. COMPUTER 
GUIDE 1983 contains the names, addresses and phone 
numbers of hundreds of manufacturers, dealers and stores 
throughout the United States. 



No one wins when you buy the wrong computer or computer 
product. Make the right decision. Use COMPUTER GUIDE 
1983. 



Send me COMPUTER GUIDE 1983 

The complete computer buyer's guide. 

I'm enclosing my check for $32. 75 plus $1.50 for shipping. 
(Mass. residents add 5% sales tax.) 

Mail to: CESS 

P.O. Box 345, MIT Branch P.O. 

Cambridge, MA 02139 

(617)491-8925 

Name 

Address 

City, State and Zip 

Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery. 



Circle 82 on inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 251 




Figure 22: The two control sets used in NAPLPS. 



NAPLPS merely provides a vehicle that will run on NAPLPS. Many 

for the seventh level (commonly special applications can be developed 

called the application level) that com- and standardized at level 7 using 

prises the application programs and NAPLPS as a foundation. These ap- 

software (e.g., a banking program) plications may be very specialized 



and might use only a subset of 
NAPLPS. 

When we discuss user input, it 
should be noted that NAPLPS was 
not developed as a standard to be 
used for massive amounts of data en- 
try in large data-processing centers. 
NAPLPS was developed to be used 
by people at home, at work, and at 
play. It was designed to be elegant 
and free-form. 

NAPLPS was designed in this man- 
ner based on the assumption that 
most people do not want to interact 
with computers in robot-like ways. 
People will enter data by looking at 
menus and pointing to selections, 
rather than learning some complex 
command syntax. As we mentioned 
earlier, with a graphics tablet or other 
digitizer, people will even be able to 
input handwritten messages. Studies 
have shown that people want as 
much of their personality as possible 
to be reflected in their communica- 
tion. And they expect that if they 
enter something reasonable, that it 
should be accepted and handled in a 
reasonable manner. 

Macros 

Macros (or macroinstructions) are 
specified in NAPLPS to reduce the 
amount of data that must be trans- 
mitted from the host to the terminal. 
Macros provide a mechanism where- 
by a frequently used multibyte string 
of text and/ or graphics can be repre- 
sented by a single-character macro. If 
the name of that macro appears later 
in the incoming data stream, the ter- 
minal retrieves the multibyte string 
and inserts it into the incoming 
stream in place of the macro name. 

Once the string has been inserted 
into the incoming stream, the ter- 
minal processes it as if it had come 
from the host. Also, nesting of 
macros is allowed so that one macro 
can be used to retrieve several other 
macros. Of course, you must be 
careful to avoid looping and recursive 
macros that will endlessly refer to 
each other. 

Ninety-six macro names are avail- 
able. NAPLPS allows a unique, vari- 
able-length string to be stored for 
each name. Also, macros can be used 
in two directions: from the host to the 



252 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 




SALES COMPANY 



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Circle 307 on inquiry card. 



BYTE February 1983 253 



Everybody's 
Logic Analyzer 



12 Channels 
16 Words 




A logic probe and oscilloscope are no 
longer adequate for analysis in today's 
digital world. For testing or debugging 
microcomputer or other digital logic 
circuits you need a real logic analyzer. 

The LA- 12 captures, stores and displays 
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address) can be understood and 
analyzed long after the actual events 
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■ Easy to Use ■ 10 MHz ■ Clock 
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Qualifiers ■ Built-in LED Display — 
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30 day trial 

Purchase an LA-12, use it, and if you are not 
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Free Offer 

If you order within 45 days, and mention this 
magazine, you will receive a $49.95 input cable 
free with each LA-12 ordered. 

Save $28.95 

In addition, if you enclose payment with your 
order you can deduct 5% and we will pay 
shipping charges. 

All prices are in US dollars for 120VAC. 
To order in the Continental US call 

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Dealer inquiries invited 
254 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



N A PL PS CODE 

DEFINE MACRO 26 
SELECT BLUE 
CLEAR SCREEN 
SELECT WHITE 
POSITION (.05, 
TEXT "READY: - 

END 



MACRO 26 



RESUL T 



25) 



Figure 23: An example of the use of macros in NAPLPS. Each time the code for Macro 
26 occurs in the data stream, the word "READY:" will appear on a blank screen. 



terminal and vice versa. The direction 
can be specified when the macro is 
defined. The typical direction is to ex- 
pand the macro into the terminal as 
described above. In the so-called 
transmit macros, the expansion of the 
macro occurs toward the host. 

Transmit macros are usually asso- 
ciated with programmable function 
keys on the terminal. When a key is 
pressed, the string associated with the 
macro and the key is sent to the host. 

Figure 23 illustrates a typical ap- 
plication of macros. Here, a macro 
has been defined. In this case, it was 
given the number 26. Later in the 
stream of NAPLPS instructions, the 
macro name 26 appears and the 
macro is expanded and processed by 
the terminal. The screen will be 
cleared to blue, the color white will 
be selected, and the word "READY:" 
will appear one-fourth of the way up 
the screen and a little in from the left 
edge. (Note that on the display screen 
the word "READY:" may appear to 
be one-third of the way up from the 
bottom; this results from the fact that 
the top quarter of the unit screen is 
not displayed.) Only 1 byte was sent 
to invoke this multibyte sequence. 
With this type of compression, a 
system can be made to appear very 
fast, even over 300-bit-per-second 
data links. 

The Future of NAPLPS 

NAPLPS has finally started to 
emerge as the most extensive text and 
graphics standard in existence. Many 
companies have hundreds of people 
working on NAPLPS-related proj- 
ects. A survey in Data Communica- 



tions magazine predicted that 
NAPLPS will be one of the most sig- 
nificant achievements in information 
exchange in the latter half of this cen- 
tury. 

Part of the reason for this populari- 
ty is the fact that NAPLPS is not only 
a video-graphics protocol but an in- 
formation-exchange language. 
NAPLPS has been used to encode pic- 
tures for plotters, printers, laser 
printers, and phototypesetters. 
NAPLPS can be used to encode pre- 
cise descriptions of logos, trade- 
marks, and physical objects, things 
which heretofore have been very dif- 
ficult to describe precisely. 

NAPLPS comes at a time when the 
information industry is bursting with 
new technology that exceeds existing 
standards for information inter- 
change. NAPLPS is a standard that 
pushes this new technology to its 
limits and still provides the capability 
to accommodate unknown expan- 
sions. 

NAPLPS is only the tip of the 
iceberg. In subsequent parts of this 
series, we will describe how NAPLPS 
fits into the larger scheme of local and 
regional area networks and distribut- 
ed intelligent-terminal systems. 
Topics such as down-loading, file 
transfer, and operating-system evolu- 
tion and compatibility will be 
covered. 

Next month, we will begin to 
describe in detail how to write and 
decode NAPLPS information. In the 
meantime, anyone interested in ob- 
taining more information about 
NAPLPS should obtain a copy of the 
ANSI standard specification. ■ 

Circle 10 on inquiry card. > 



Hard Disk is Easy 
to Control 




Til »v*war 



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With Advanced 
Digital's Error Correcting Controller! 



Advanced Digital has solved the 
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• 256 sector addressing range 

• CRC generation/verification on 
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• One year warranty 

• Retail price: $500 



vanced Digita 
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ITAL 

CORPORATION. 



Ask about our full line of S-100 
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Sales Department 



12700-B Knott Street • Garden Grove, California 92641 • (714) 891-4004 TELEX 678401 tab irin 



' Registered IrodomaiV a Digital Research <.orp 



1 Copyright 1981 Advanced Digital 



Realizing Graphics Standards 
for Microcomputers 

Use of the Virtual Device Interface graphics system 
will make portable graphics application software possible. 



Emerging standards for interactive 
computer graphics herald an era in 
which serious graphics applications 
will be as ubiquitous as spreadsheet 
and word-processing programs. By 
promoting program portability, mak- 
ing it possible to run the same pro- 
grams on different computer systems, 
standards will create large markets 
for both software and hardware 
graphics products. As a result, the 
development of sophisticated graph- 
ics applications for microcomputers 
will be economically feasible. The 
benefit for the end user will be more 
software offerings of higher quality at 
reduced cost. 

A History of Graphics Standards 

The earliest graphics standards 
were de facto standards created by a 
small number of manufacturers who 
established dominance in the field by 
producing various successful graphics 
output devices, such as Calcomp 
plotters and Tektronix graphics ter- 
minals. When these companies added 
software support (for example, Tek- 
tronix's Plot-10 package), their im- 
plementation of graphics-device- 
control routines became the common 
graphics language for applications. 
This situation lasted until the early 
1970s, when the need for broader and 



Fred E. Langhorst 

Digital Research Inc. 

POB 579 

Pacific Grove, CA 93950 

Thomas B. Clarkson III 

Graphic Software Systems Inc. 

POB 673 

Wilsonville, OR 97070 

more flexible standards was recog- 
nized. 

In 1974, the Special Interest Group 
on Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH) 
of the Association for Computing 
Machinery (ACM) held the Work- 
shop on Machine Independent 
Graphics at the National Bureau of 
Standards near Washington. This 
conference marked the beginning of 
formal efforts in the United States to 
standardize graphics. The goal: to 
define a generic method for describ- 
ing pictures that could be output to a 
variety of graphics devices such as 
hard-copy plotters and vector or 
raster video displays. 

The International Workshop on 
Graphics Standards Methodology 
held in 1976 in Seillac, France, ac- 
celerated the work begun by SIG- 
GRAPH. A significant development 
was the decision to break the stan- 
dardization task into two com- 
ponents: first, to develop methods for 
making applications programs por- 
table, and second, to develop a func- 
tional description of a "core" or basic 
graphics system. 

In 1977, the Graphic Standards 
Planning Committee released its first 
draft of a graphics standard, the SIG- 
GRAPH Core Standard. This draft 
incorporated input and output 



capabilities for a range of graphics 
devices but did not address the 
emerging field of raster graphics. 
Then, after two more years of work, 
the committee released a major pub- 
lication, the Status Report of the 
Graphic Standards Planning Commit- 
tee, at the annual SIGGRAPH con- 
ference in 1979. Included was a 
methodology and specification for 
the Core Graphics System, raster- 
graphics extensions to the Core 
System, a description of Metafile (a 
device-independent picture file) and a 
model for distributed graphics 
systems. This document also provid- 
ed the impetus for the formation of 
the ANSI (American National Stan- 
dards Institute) Technical Committee 
X3H3 for Computer Graphics Pro- 
gramming Languages. Formed in 
1979, this ANSI group is now the 
major graphics-standardization body 
in the United States. Meanwhile in 
Europe, the Deutsches Institut fur 
Normung (DIN), the German stan- 
dardization institute, was working on 
a parallel effort to produce its 
Graphical Kernel System (GKS). 

Current Standards Efforts 

Present efforts in standardization 
focus on two main interface levels: 
the programmer interface and the 



256 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



PROGRAMMER 
INTERFACE -- 
LEVEL 



DEVICE 

INTERFACE 

LEVEL 



APPLICATIONS PROGRAM 



•GKS INTERFACE 



GRAPHICS UTILITY SYSTEM 



■VDI INTERFACE 



DEVICE DRIVER 



PHYSICAL DEVICE, 
STANDARD INTERFACE 



UNIVERSAL NAPLPS 
DEVICE DRIVER 



PHYSICAL DEVICE, 
NONSTANDARD INTERFACE 



VIDEOTEX DEVICE 



Figure 1: The two main levels of graphics standardization are the programmer and 
device-interface levels. The Graphical Kernel System (GKS) provides a standard inter- 
face between the application program and graphics utility programs. The Virtual 
Device Interface (VDI) standardizes the interface between graphics utilities and device 
drivers. 



device interface. The programmer in- 
terface refers to the conceptual model 
as well as the syntax the programmer 
uses when incorporating graphics 
functions into an application pro- 
gram. The device interface refers to 
the protocol used for communication 
between the device-independent and 
the device-dependent functions 
(sometimes called the DI/DD inter- 
face). The programmer interface stan- 
dardizes the calling sequence and 
functions of a graphics-procedure 
library, while the device interface 
defines a device-driver protocol that 
is consistent for all graphics devices 
(see figure 1). 

The Graphical Kernel System 

The Graphical Kernel System 
(GKS) is the principal emerging stan- 
dard at the programmer level. GKS 
has felt the influence of many na- 
tional organizations, including ANSI 
in the United States, and is justifiably 
described as an international stan- 
dard. Now a Draft International 
Standard, the GKS specification is 
frozen awaiting final adoption as an 
ISO (International Organization for 
Standardization) standard. 

GKS allows portability of graphics 
application programs between dif- 
ferent computer installations by pro- 
viding a consistent interface in high- 
level languages such as FORTRAN 
and Pascal. It also improves a pro- 
grammer's ability to work on dif- 



ferent systems by providing a 
graphics model and syntax that are 
common to several systems. This is 
accomplished by standardizing the 
way in which graphics functions are 
accessed and by providing graphics 
output on a virtual device surface 
defined in normalized device coor- 
dinates. The application program 
may then control the way individual 
workstations interpret the normalized 
coordinates, which are translated to 
real-device coordinates for display, 
although the other layers of the 
system are fooled into thinking they 
are communicating with the idealized 
virtual device. 

Reflecting the rigors of its origin in 
the flexibility it provides, GKS sup- 
ports a full set of drawing primitive 
commands (with variable attributes) 
for data input and drawing, support 
for multiple workstations, and 
device-independent picture segments. 
It also supports raster graphics 
through a comprehensive set of area- 
fill and pixel-array primitives. While 
GKS provides device independence 
for standard functions, nonstandard 
operations are also made available 
through the Generalized Drawing 
Primitive, a well-defined mechanism 
to escape from GKS that allows a 
programmer to access the unique 
capabilities of a particular device. 

Let's take a look at some parts of 
the GKS specification. 

GKS Workstations: A GKS work- 



station is a single display surface and 
one or more input devices. The dis- 
play surface is usually a cathode-ray- 
tube screen, although it could be a 
plotter bed or some other device. 
Multiple workstations that may 
operate in a single, interactive 
graphics session might include, for 
example, a raster display, a plotter, 
and a storage display tube. GKS pro- 
vides the logical interface through 
which the application program con- 
trols physical devices, allowing the 
application to redirect the flow of 
graphics data to another I/O device 
at any time. 

GKS Graphics Primitives: The 
basic drawing primitives in GKS are 
the polyline, polymarker, and text 
primitives. The polyline primitive 
draws a sequence of vectors (straight 
lines) between pairs of points that 
form a sequence specified as an array 
(sort of a "connect the dots" com- 
mand). A single line is merely a 
special case of the polyline, defined 
by specifying both endpoints (rather 
than relying on a sometimes am- 
biguous and confusing current-posi- 
tion model). The polymarker primi- 
tive, chiefly used to identify points on 
plotted curves, is similar to the 
polyline except that a marker symbol, 
rather than a vector, is drawn at each 
specified point. The text primitive 
allows text strings to be displayed at 
any position with any orientation. 

GKS also supports raster devices 
with fill and pixel-array primitives. 
The fill operation paints the interior 
of a closed polyline (polygon) with a 
specified color or pattern (such as a 
Crosshatch). The pixel-array primi- 
tive allows a two-dimensional array 
of pixels of different colors, called a 
cell, to be defined. The cell may then 
be replicated over an arbitrary area 
simply by giving the desired bound- 
aries. This operation finds many uses 
in imaging applications such as video- 
frame displays, cartography, and 
other scientific areas. 

Some graphics-output devices have 
incorporated unusually powerful ca- 
pabilities into their repertoire, such as 
the ability to draw arcs, circles, and 
bars. GKS allows an application pro- 
gram to access these capabilities 
through a special escape mechanism 



February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 25 



, 



WORLD SPACE 



NDC SPACE WINDOW 

t 

NDC VIEWPORT 
(DEVICE-INDEPENDENT) 




WORKSTATION -l-' \ \ \ \ 

WINDOW \ _\ \ \ 

V 

\ 
\ 
\ 



WORKSTATION-2 
VIEWPORT 



WORKSTATION - 1 
VIEWPORT 

Figure 2: GKS provides a versatile set of viewing transformations. A window may be 
defined in the application's conceptual "world space," which selects a portion of that 
space to be viewed. The window is mapped to an area or viewport in an intermediate 
virtual space called the normalized-device-coordinate (NDC) space. This space appears 
identical to all devices in the system. Each workstation can then define its own window 
into the NDC space; each workstation window is mapped to its own viewport on the 
device display surface. This transformation allows each workstation to have a separate 
view of the NDC space. 



called the Generalized Drawing Prim- 
itive. By passing an identification 
number and the required parameters 
to the driver, any unique feature of 
the device may be invoked. In effect, 
the Generalized Drawing Primitive is 
a standard way to be nonstandard. 

Attributes: Associated with each 
output primitive are attributes that 
alter the object's appearance. For ex- 
ample, the polyline primitive has line- 
type (solid, dashed, etc.), width, and 
color attributes. Polymarkers have 
attributes of style, size, and color; the 
styles comprise a choice of common 
ASCII (American Standard Code for 
Information Interchange) characters. 
Text primitives have attributes of 



size, color and orientation; and multi- 
ple character fonts can be accessed if 
they are available in the graphics 
device. Color indexes may be defined 
by associating a desired color speci- 
fied in RGB (red-green-blue) inten- 
sities with a color-index number; the 
color values of primitives are then 
given as the appropriate index. 

Viewing and Transformations: 
GKS allows the user or programmer 
to define a coordinate space, called 
the world coordinate space, that is 
appropriate for each application. 
This world coordinate space is 
mapped into device coordinates in a 
controlled manner through two 
distinct operations: normalization 



transformations and workstation 
transformations. GKS first trans- 
forms world coordinates into a 
normalized-device-coordinate (NDC) 
space by defining a working region, 
or window, in world-coordinate 
space. NDC space acts as an abstract 
viewing surface or an intermediary 
space between applications and de- 
vices. The NDC space is then trans- 
formed into the device coordinates 
(DC) of the workstation. When mul- 
tiple workstations are used, each may 
have a distinct view of the application 
by setting its own workstation win- 
dow. The last transformation allows 
the workstation to set a viewport, the 
active region of the device's potential 
workspace, which can be used for 
scaling and translating the original 
picture (see figure 2). 

Graphics Input: A full set of input 
operations allows an application pro- 
gram to receive input from a broad 
range of interactive input devices. 
The input operations are grouped 
into five classes: choice, locator, 
pick, string, and valuator. This vital 
flexibility allows GKS to support the 
optimum input device for a particular 
working environment. The result is 
improved interactivity through which 
the full potential of the graphics 
man/machine interface can be real- 
ized. The request-locator function 
returns the position of an image enti- 
ty in world coordinates, while the 
request-valuator function returns an 
indication of the current value of a 
continuous valuator device such as a 
potentiometer. The request-choice 
function returns an integer that repre- 
sents one of a set of choices. The pick 
function returns the graphics segment 
number that corresponds to the ob- 
jects being selected with graphics in- 
put. Finally, the request-string func- 
tion reads character input from a key- 
board device. The way in which these 
logical functions are implemented 
(through a joystick, a mouse — like 
the one used with the Apple Lisa, 
function keys, etc.) is workstation 
dependent. 

Inquiries: To aid the programmer, 
GKS provides an inquire capability 
that allows the application program 
to find out information about its sys- 
tem environment: the current operat- 



258 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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BYTE February 1983 259 



CompuShack 



Your Systems Specialist 



CompuShrck 

txotter. 




PDS UNIVERSAL 
PRODUCTS 



TRUMPCARD 

A unique memory card with 256K Ram 
Game I/O and Serial I/O. . . S499.00 
TRUMP CARD II 

Serial I/O and 5I2K fully populated 
memory card $699.00 




TRUMP CARD V 

Features Parallel and Serial I/O, Game 
I/O and a Clock/Calander with bat- 
tery back-up. A fully populated 256K 

memory board $599.00 

QUADRAM 

Quad Board - 256K, Parallel Port, Serial 
I/O, Clock Calendar with battery 

backup $599.00 

5 1 2K Ram with Serial I/O ... . $799.00 

Microfazer Parallel $199.00 

Microfazer Cable $37.95 

Quad Color I S299.00 

Quad Color II 640 x 200. . . . $499.00 
Quad Color III 640 x 400 . . . $699.00 

IBM PC- COMPLETE LINE IBM 

IBM 

PC Complete System: includes 64K 
IBM-PC with 2 Floppy Disk Drives, 
Floppy Drive Controller, 12" monitor, 
Color Graphics card. All for 

only $2899.00 

AST COMBO CARD 

AST Combo Card 256K ram, Parallel 

Port, Serial Port, Clock Calendar and 

Battery back-up $599.00 

MAYNARD ELECTRONICS 

Floppy Disk Controller $179.00 

Floppy Disk Controller w/Parallel 

Port S229.00 

Floppy Disk Controller w/Senal 

Port $239.00 

HERCULES GRAPHICS CARD 
This card gives you 720 x 350 graphics 
capabilities and it is completely 
compatible with DOS software for 
only $489.00 

Prices subject to change without notice 



BIG BLUE 

Dual I/O ports, dual processing, Serial 
port. Parallel port, 5 MHZ, Z80 B, 64K, 
Hard disk interface, Clock/Calendar, 
let's you run existing CP/M software. 

List $589 Ours $479 

TALL TREE SYSTEMS 
JRAM 512K, allows PC to address ONE 
MEGABYTE Electronic Disk. . . $800 EA 
JFORMAT lets you mix and match 
Drives: single/dual/quad/Electronic/ 
8"/Hard Disk + Pnntspooler and 10 
spector formatting $60.00 

FLOPPY DISK DRIVES 

TANDON 

TM-100-1 SS/DD $189.00 

TM-100-2 DS/DD $249.00 

TM- 100-4 DS/DD $359.00 

TM-848-1 SS/DD $425.00 

TM-848-2 DS/DD $499.00 

SHUGART 

SA400SS/SD $175.00 

SA450 DS/DD S250.00 

SA800/80I SS/SD $365.00 

SA850/85I DS/DD S459.00 

QUME 

DT-5 DS/DD $269.00 

DT-8 DS/DD $469.00 

AMDEK-3 COMPACT 3" 
MICRO-FLOPPYDISK 
DRIVE SYSTEM 

This 3" Amdek Micro-Floppy disk Drive 
offers up to I Megabyte storage. Two 
drives [with built-in power supply) are 
furnished to commodate Micro-Floppy- 
disk Cartridges $699.00 

HARD DISK SYSTEMS 

For IBM and Apple from Devong 

and Corona 
5MB $1595.00 

10MB $1995.00 

Complete subsystem with software, 
cables and power supply. 

PRINTERS 

EPSON 

MX-80 W/graftrax plus .... $439.00 
MX-80 FT W/graftrax plus . . . $499.00 
MX- 100 W/graftrax plus . $659.00 

Atari to epson cable $35.00 

IEEE Pet $25.00 

Apple parallel $35.00 

IBM to epson $46.00 

MX- 70, MX-80, MX-80 FT 

ribbons $14.00 

MX- 100 ribbons $24.00 

'APPLE, is a Trade Mark of Apple Computers, Inc. 
•IBM, is a Trade Mark of IBM Corp. 



BROTHER 

HR-1 A parallel 789. 

HR-1 A serial $899. 

Tractor feed option S135. 

Print wheel $24. 

Multi strike ribbon (dozen) .... $73. 
One time film ribbon (dozen). . . $32. 
SMITH CORONA c «S3r" 

TP-1 parell S0 r. . . $579. 

TP-1 serial $579. 

Nylon black fabric ribbon 

(dozen) $49. 

Mylar multi strike (dozen) . . . $54. 
Print wheel $9. 




niFiiBmn.il 

NEC WEC 

SPINWRITER 

7710-1 $22 

7715-1 $23 

7720-1 $25 

7725-1 $26 

7730-1 $22 

SPINWRITER 

3510 $13 

3515 $14 

3520 $19 

3525 $19 

3530 $16 

3550 $20 

PC 8023A $4 

OKIDATA 

82A I429J 

83A $699.i 

84AP parallel $999.t 

84AS serial , .., $1099.1 

82A tractor feed $69. 

Parallel cable [Okidata to Apple or 
Atari] $29. 

MONITORS 

AMDEK 

Video 100 $89.' 

Video 300 $179.1 

Video 300A (Amber) $159.' 

Video 310 (for IBM PC) ... . $179j 

Color I 13" composite 

monitor $299. 

Color-ll (Hi-res) $669. 

Color-Ill (Med-res) $399. 

Color-IV S999. 

DMV Board for Apple II. ... $139. 

Business & Home Computers 



260 BYTE February 1983 



Circle 346 on inquiry card. 



ULCCtt) 



\MDEK 

lolor II 16 color modulation 

kit S9.99 

\tari to Color I interface 

cable S19.95 

/IC-20 to Color I interface 

cable 19.95 

SlEC 

B-I201M 12" green 

screen $169.00 

C-1212M 12" color (Lo-Resj. . . 335.00 
G1203DH (A) 12" (Hi-Res) . . . $752.00 

1691 video interface cable for 

IBM $26.95 

1692 video interface cable for 

NEC $29.95 

ELECTROHOME 

3" RGB monitor (Med-Res) . . . $299.00 

3" RGB monitor (Hi-Res) . . , '. $549.00 

nJTSC module $25.00 

iupercolor Board $199.00 

6 color IBM cable $39.00 

3 color IBM cable $39.00 

^JEC PC-8000 cable $39.00 




ZOMREX 

ZR-5500 12" monochrome 

display $89.00 

IR-6500 13" composite color 

monitor $299.00 

IR-6600 13" color RGB 

monitor. . . .' $499.00 

ZABIIMETS/POWER SUPPLY 

Dual 8" disk drive cabinet/ 

ps $249.00 

Dual 514" disk drive cabinet/ 

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Single 514" disk drive cabinet/ 

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drives, cabinet/power 
supply $895.00 

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COMPUTER SYSTEM 

Apple 11+ computer system with 64K 
Ram, two "DataDrive" disk drives, 
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of memory. "DataDrive" disk drive, 
controller card, 12" green screen hi- 
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For the same system listed above with a 
I6K card, Z80 card and an 80 Column 
card add $351 

OTHER PRODUCTS FOR APPLE II 

PDS UNIVERSAL 

Z80 card CP/M included. . . . $159.00 

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Micromodem II $299.95 

Smartmodem 1200 baud full 

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Micromodem II manual/ 

diskette $15.00 

T G PRODUCTS 

Game paddles $29.95 

Joy stick $45.95 

Select a port $45.95 

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ECHO II speech synthesizer . . . $175.00 

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BYTE February 1983 261 



APPLICATION LAYER 



LANGUAGE LAYER 



GRAPHICAL KERNEL SYSTEM (GKS) 



OPERATING SYSTEM 
CPIM GSX 



OTHER HARDWARE 



GRAPHICS HARDWARE 



Figure 3: This layer model shows the relationship of GKS and VDI to other components 
in a graphics system. Each module may call the functions of the adjoining layer below. 
An example of this is the Graphics System Extension (GSX) to the popular CP/M family 
of operating systems. 



ing state, primitive attributes, view- 
ing operations and transformations, 
and device capabilities. 

Device-Level Interfaces 

Two emerging standards are ad- 
dressing the hardware-driver inter- 
face level. One of these, the North 
American Presentation-Level-Proto- 
col Syntax (NAPLPS), was developed 
by a team at Bell Laboratories as an 
extension of graphics developments 
in the Canadian Telidon videotex 
system. (See the article "NAPLPS, A 
New Standard for Text and Graphics: 
Part 1" by Jim Fleming and Bill Frezza 
on page 203.) NAPLPS (pronounced 
"nap-lips") has been adopted by 
AT&T as a standard for transmitting 
text and graphics over telecommuni- 
cation lines. In some computer- 
graphics applications, NAPLPS prob- 
ably will "sit below" another, more 
general, device interface called the 
Virtual Device Interface (VDI). This 
relationship is illustrated in figure 1, 
where the NAPLPS block is placed 
under the dashed line of the Virtual 
Device Interface. 

The VDI standard is being 
developed by the ANSI X3H33 Tech- 
nical Committee as a standard inter- 
face between device-independent 
software and graphics devices. VDI 
makes all devices appear as identical 
virtual graphics devices by defining a 
standard input/output protocol. The 
unique characteristics of the physical 
graphics device are isolated in the 
device-driver software module. This 
technique has been employed by in- 
dividual vendors to make their own 
products compatible with a wide 
range of devices, similar to the way 



operating systems such as Unix or 
CP/M are interfaced to a multitude of 
hardware configurations. VDI takes 
the concept a step further by provid- 
ing potential industry-wide com- 
patibility. 

The VDI specification is expected 
to be frozen during the summer of 
1983. For the graphics-equipment 
manufacturer, the adoption of this 
standard means that a VDI driver for 
a particular graphics device need be 
written only once. All graphics ap- 
plications that conform to VDI would 
then be able to communicate with the 
device through the standard device 
driver. Long-range benefits will be 
more evident as equipment and semi- 
conductor manufacturers begin im- 
plementing more of the software- 
driver functionality in hardware — in 
effect moving the VDI interface down 
into the graphics device itself. This 
development in graphics is a direct 
parallel to other standardization 
efforts, such as the Shugart 
Associates Standard Interface (SASI) 
for disk-drive subsystems. The SASI 
hardware and protocol specification 
allows OEMs (so-called original 
equipment manufacturers) to freely 
mix disk subsystems and host com- 
puters made by different firms. The 
popularity of this approach stems 
from the many benefits it offers to the 
industry: less design effort expended 
reinventing the wheel, numerous sec- 
ond sources of parts, higher reliabili- 
ty with a proven design, reduced 
costs, and larger markets. Similar 
benefits will accrue to computer 
graphics as a result of the standard- 
ization efforts that are at last bearing 
fruit. 



Graphics Standards as Products 

Although the cost of hardware, 
especially semiconductor memory, is 
usually cited as the major inhibitor to 
truly widespread use of interactive 
graphics, this is becoming less and 
less accurate. The lack of universal 
standards has dulled the impact of the 
dramatic reduction in component 
costs in the past decade. The impend- 
ing advent of these important stan- 
dards paves the way for implementa- 
tions of computer graphics that will 
enjoy widespread availability and 
economies of scale. The success of 
this approach has been demonstrated 
in the microcomputer world by such 
de facto standards as the 8080-com- 
patible microprocessors and the 
CP/M operating system. 

Digital Research in collaboration 
with Graphics Software Systems Inc. 
(GSS) has recently responded to the 
potential offered by the new stan- 
dards by expanding the capability of 
the CP/M family of operating sys- 
tems with an upgrade called the 
Graphics System Extension, or GSX. 
This upgrade provides full graphics 
capabilities to the user through the 
normal CP/M function-call access 
mechanism. The architecture of GSX 
has been carefully designed to allow 
the extended CP/M to maintain com- 
patibility with nongraphics applica- 
tions and to use system resources in a 
way that is consistent with a small- 
system environment, according to the 
structure shown in figure 3. 

Digital Research has also provided 
a package called GSS-Kernel that 
presents a GKS interface to the 
graphics-application programmer 
using the graphics functions provided 
by GSX. GSS-Kernel, a linkable run- 
time library, will increase program- 
mer productivity while providing 
program portability through the stan- 
dard GKS interface. In addition, ap- 
plications using GSS-Kernel will be 
source-code compatible with large 
computer systems running GKS pro- 
cedures libraries. 

GSX Architecture 

GSX is composed of three major 
components: the graphics-device op- 
erating system, the graphics in- 
put/output system, and the Gengraf 



262 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 





cossr 



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install SoftCard circuit board. The CP/M-80 

operating system. Microsoft BASIC plus 

GBASIC for graphics applications. And, the utilities 

you need to manage CP/M-80 files. 

Why Microsoft? Microsoft was the first personal computer 

software manufacturer. The very first. Today, Microsoft software 

is running on well over a million computers worldwide. 

There's a reason. Microsoft has earned a reputation for better 




software. Products that work. Products that are 
constantly being enhanced. And when the 
enhanced versions are ready, we make 
the enhancements available to our 

customers. Like the 60K enhance- 
ment for the SoftCard system. That 
kind of product support is just one of 
the ways we earned our reputation. 
Ask your dealer. Ask about the superior 
applications programs the SoftCard 
system makes available to your Apple. High 
lity programs for almost every area of home, 
business, and professional use. Then, ask for a 
demonstration of the complete Microsoft SoftCard 
package . . . and any of those thousands of new programs 
you can introduce to your Apple. 

BETTER TOOLS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS 

MICROSOFT 



TM 



MICROSOFT CORPORATION 

10700 NORTHUP WAY 

BELLEVUE. WASHINGTON 98004 

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation 
SoftCard is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation 
Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer. Inc. 
CP/M-80 is a registered trademark of Digital Research. Inc. 

Circle 275 on Inquiry card. 



DEVICE DRIVER 



BIOS 



BOOS 




GIOS 



®~ 



0100 



0000 



GDOS 



USER-PROGRAM AREA 
(TRANSIENT PROGRAM AREA) 



SYSTEM 
DATA 



NONGRAPHICS 
-FUNCTION 
CALLS 



DOS 
-FUNCTION 
CALLS 



Figure 4: GSX consists of the device-independent (GDOS) and device-dependent 
(GIOS) components. These are loaded at run time below the BDOS (basic disk 
operating system) module in high memory. Initial loading of GIOS and GDOS from the 
system disk is performed by a loader routine attached to the application program by the 
GSX Gengraf utility when the program is created. During operation, graphics work- 
stations may be changed by making a request to GDOS that causes a new device driver 
to be loaded from the disk. 



utility routine. The graphics-device 
operating system, or GDOS, is analo- 
gous to the BDOS (basic disk operat- 
ing system) module in the standard 
CP/M system and contains the de- 
vice-independent portion of GSX. 
The graphics input/ output system, or 
GIOS, contains the device-dependent 
drivers which, like the basic in- 
put/output system (BIOS) in stan- 
dard CP/M, provide the necessary 
"glue" to connect GDOS with the 
particular characteristics and com- 
mand sequences of a specific graphics 
device. Finally, the Gengraf utility 
configures a graphics-application 
program to run in the GSX environ- 
ment. 

Figure 4 shows the relationship of 
software components of a GSX- 
extended CP/M-80 system. GDOS 
and GIOS form a path to graphics 
devices that is essentially parallel to 
the BDOS and the BIOS. Normal 
operating-system calls, such as read- 
ing from or writing to the console or a 
disk drive, are initiated by the BDOS, 
and the BIOS provides the device- 



dependent interface. Graphics calls 
are intercepted and serviced by 
GDOS and passed to the appropriate 
device-dependent driver within 
GIOS. In reality, only one device- 
driver routine is resident in memory 
at any time; the other device drivers 
are stored on disk. The application 
program may request use of a new 
workstation at any time, and GSX 
will insure that the proper device 
driver is loaded as needed. This 
choice of implementation maximizes 
the memory available for the applica- 
tion program. 

Graphics-Device Operating Sys- 
tem: Access to all graphics operations 
is through function calls to GDOS, 
made in the same manner as BDOS 
calls except that an additional param- 
eter list is specified to transfer 
graphics information. This informa- 
tion includes a graphics operation 
code, a control array, a parameter 
array, and a point array. Point lo- 
cations are passed to GSX in a nor- 
malized-device-coordinate space. 
Here all point locations are specified 



with x,y coordinates between 0,0 and 
32767,32767. GDOS then transforms 
the NDC coordinates into the device 
coordinate system through a scaling 
operation using device-specific infor- 
mation that was passed when the cur- 
rent workstation was opened for use. 
This scheme not only provides a VDI- 
compatible method of passing coor- 
dinate values, but also allows points 
to be specified as integer arrays, thus 
saving memory space and processing 
time. 

GDOS is also responsible for 
dynamic workstation assignment. 
Each device on a system is associated 
with a workstation-identification (ID) 
number. When GDOS receives a re- 
quest to assign a workstation (change 
the currently active graphics device), 
it determines which driver corres- 
ponds to the indicated workstation 
ID and loads that driver into 
memory. The new driver is loaded 
into memory in the same locations 
formerly occupied by the previous 
driver so that memory requirements 
are minimized. The logical associa- 
tion of workstation ID number to a 
particular device is made through an 
assignment table, a text file stored on 
the system disk. You can alter the 
correspondence of workstation ID to 
specific device drivers simply by edit- 
ing the assignment-table file with any 
text editor. 

Graphics Input/Output System: 
The GIOS component of GSX con- 
tains the device-dependent code that 
translates between the Virtual Device 
Interface and the unique charac- 
teristics of a real graphics device, 
making all graphics devices appear to 
the application program as identical 
virtual devices. The VDI specifies the 
pseudo-operation code for a graphics 
operation as well as a set of input and 
output arguments. The input argu- 
ments include an array of control 
parameters, an array of input 
parameters, and an array of input 
point coordinates. The output argu- 
ments include control parameters, 
output parameters, and output point 
coordinates. The control, input, and 
output parameters are unique to the 
particular operation being performed 
(see table 1). 

Often, the capabilities specified by 



264 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



EXTRA 



EXTRA 



S-100 World News 



MACROTECH International Corporation 



22133 Cohasset Street, Canoga Park, California 91303 • 213-887-5737 



Megabyte S-100 Memory Here Now 

Major breakthrough made by 
Macrotech International Corporation 




M 3 Family Growing 

Another product recently introduced by 
Macrotech is soaring to the top of the best- 
seller list. The Multiuser II is a 128 kbyte 
70ns CMOS static ram memory board that is 
unquestionably without peer in the S-100 
marketplace. It's a 6-layer board with blazing 
speed, 8/16 data transfer protocol, and ultra- 
low power external battery support. The 
same M 3 memory mapped addressing archi- 
tecture so in demand with system software 
professionals is now standard in the new 
Multiuser II. M 3 was first developed by Macro- 
tech for the popular Multiuser 1 256K dynam- 
ic ram board to meet the demanding require- 
ments of today's sophisticated systems. 




Macrotech's advanced memory mapping 
scheme allows each 4K block of the 16 bit 
(64K) logical addresses to be dynamically 
translated to any 4K block of the physical 
memory. Global memory can be configured 
to any size and located anywhere in the logi- 
cal address space. All remaining memory can 
be addressed through the remaining logical 
address space by simply reloading the map- 
ping registers to address the desired physical 
memory blocks. This scheme permits unlimit- 
ed use of all on-board physical memory. 



CANOGA PARK (MI)- January 20, 1983-Mike Pelkey, president of Macrotech International 
Corporation, today announced a major technological breakthrough in S-100 dynamic memory 
board density. A full megabyte of high speed dynamic ram is contained on a single stan- 
dard size S-100 multilayer P.C. board. The product, dubbed 'Max' meets all IEEE/696 mech- 
anical and electrical specifications and byte 
parity generation/checking is included as a 
standard feature. Max supports IEEE/ 696 24- 
bit addressing (selectable at any 128K boun- 
dary), 8/16 data transfer protocol, phantom 
line operation, and the same ultra low noise 
bus signal filtering provided on Macrotech's 
popular high performance 256K dynamic 
memory board. 

Max is in production now and shipping at 
the all-time low cost per bit list price of $1,983 
in unit quantity. 

Bruce Kimmel, Macrotech's sales manager 
reports that customers are being served on 
a "first-in, first-out" basis and warns that due 
to a high incidence of graphics and similar 
memory-intensive applications, along with an 
unwillingness in the trade to pay exorbitant 
prices for memory, backlogs may occur for 
Max which could delay shipments against 
some late orders. With the improbability of 
second sourcing for some time, interested 
parties are urged to get orders in as soon as 
possible. Bruce can be contacted at 22133 
Cohasset Street, Canoga Park, California 
91303, or reached by telephone at (213) 
887-5737. 



Virtual Disk 
Flexibility Cited 

CANOGA PARK-January 20, 1983-Macro- 
tech reports their Multiuser I and Multiuser 
II S-100 ram memory boards can be used as 
both system memory and "virtual disk" stor- 
age in eight or sixteen-bit applications. Ad- 
dressing flexibility is the key. The Multiuser 
M 3 memory mapped addressing is guaranteed 
to allow memory partitioning to fit the exact 
requirements of your system without ever 
wasting a single byte. 

Today's trend in operating systems appears 
to include extended memory capabilities to 
allow for the recent technological advances 
in semiconductor memory. A close look at 
Digital Research's new CP/M 3™ for example, 
would lead you to believe that it was especial- 
ly created to fit Macrotech's family of Multi- 
user memory boards. (It wasn't, but try to find 
one that fits better.) 




Where it all started: pictured is the popular 
Multiuser I, Macrotech's first product. This 
widely used board provides 256 Kbytes of 
dynamic ram with 4K page memory map- 
ping (called M 3 ), 8/16 bit operation, 24 bit 
addressing and byte parity checking. 



MACROTECH 

Announces 
Distribution Expansion 

CANOGA PARK-January 20, 1983-Macro- 
tech is now establishing domestic and inter- 
national dealer/representative networks. The 
California based firm is expanding it's cus- 
tomer support through these channels and in- 
vites inquiries. Volume users and retailers 
should contact the company for details. 

Macrotech's marketing director Bob Ryle 
states, "IEEE/696 has made S-100 legitimate. 
It is rapidly gaining acceptance due to its in- 
herently superior speed characteristics'.' Ryle 
attributes the growing demand for Macrotech 
memories to Macrotech's strict adherence to 
the IEEE Standard. Circle 240 on inquiry card. 



Circle 103 on inquiry card. 




AIMING 
TO PLEASE 

If you know anything at all about Com- 
puter Furniture and Accessories, you 
know that we bend over backwards to 
make our customers happy. That's 
why we'll modify our standard line of 
computer desks and accessories to 
meet your special requirements. With 
custom tops and desk configurations, 
special data shelves, micro shelves, 
risers, keyboard recesses, cable cut- 
outs and paper slots, as well as custom 
paint and top laminate colors. At CF&A 
you get all this plus durable construc- 
tion, reasonable cost, and personal 
service. More 
than ever, 
CF&A is aim- 
ing to please. 



CF»A 



Computer Furniture and 

Accessories 

515 West 132nd Street 

Gardena, CA 90248 

(213)327-7710 



Houston Warehouse: 

Hamilton and Associates 

8050 El Rio 

Houston, TX 77054 

(713)741-1505 



Op Code Description 

1 Open Workstation: initialize a graphics device (load driver routine if 
necessary) 

2 Close Workstation: stop graphics output to this workstation 

3 Clear Workstation: clear display device 

4 Update Workstation: display all pending graphics on workstation 

5 Escape: enable special device-dependent operation 

6 Polyline: output a polyline 

7 Polymarker: output markers 

8 Text: output text starting at a specified position 

9 Filled Area: display and fill a polygon 

10 Cell Array: display a cell array 

1 1 Generalized Drawing Primitive: display a generalized drawing primitive 
function 

12 Set Character Height: set text size 

13 Set Character-Up Vector: set text direction 

14 Set Color Representation: define the color associated with a color index 

15 Set Polyline Line Type: set line style for polylines 

16 Set Polyline-Line Width: set width of lines 

17 Set Polyline-Color Index: set color for polylines 

18 Set Polymarker Type: set marker type for polymarkers 

19 Set Polymarker Scale: set size for polymarkers 

20 Set Polymarker-Color Index: set color for polymarkers 

21 Set Text Font: set device-dependent text style 

22 Set Text-Color Index: set color of text 

23 Set Fill-Interior Style: set interior style for polygon fill 

24 Set Fill-Style Index: set fill style for polygons 

25 Set Fill-Color Index: set color for polygon fill 

26 Inquire Color Representation: return color representation values of index 

27 Inquire Cell Array: return definition of cell array 

28 Input Locator: return value of locator 

29 Input Valuator: return value of valuator 

30 Input Choice: return value of choice device 

31 Input String: return character string 

32 Set Writing Mode: set current writing mode (replace, overstrike, complement, 
erase) 

33 Set Input Mode: set input mode (request or sample) 

Table 1: Operation codes available under the Graphics System Extension (GSX). 



the VDI standard are not provided by 
a particular graphics device. In some 
cases, the device-driver software 
emulates the required function. For 
example, four line styles are specified 
by VDI: solid, dashed, dotted, and 
dashed-dotted. If a graphics device 
does not have the ability to produce 
these directly, their automatic genera- 
tion is emulated in software. For ex- 
ample, if a dotted line cannot be pro- 
duced by a device, the required line 
style is produced by generating a 
series of short solid lines with in- 
tervening spaces. 

Gengraf: The final component of 
GSX is the Gengraf program. Gengraf 
is a utility program used by the ap- 
plication programmer to configure a 



graphics program for use with GSX. 
Gengraf appends a special loader 
routine onto the graphics program. 
This loader brings GDOS into mem- 
ory and loads the default graphics- 
device driver before execution of the 
graphics program begins; therefore, 
GSX (GDOS and GIOS) is brought 
into memory only when a graphics- 
application program is executed. 
Otherwise, the programmer has use 
of the full user-program space 
available under CP/M. 

The loading and linking of GSX is 
completely transparent to the user at 
run time. In CP/M-80, the linkage to 
GDOS is established by the Gengraf 
loader at run time by a substitution of 
the GDOS entry point in place of the 



266 February 1»« © BYTE Publications Inc 



COMPUTER 
SYSTEMS 



"Quality Throughout" 
800-238-3100 



Q.T. Products Division 
COMPATIBLE COMPUTER CORP. 

3330 South Third St. West 
Salt Lake City. UT84I 15 
©{8011974-0999 



Q.T. Systems Division 
GOLDEN WEST COMPUTERS 
60 North 300 West 
Provo. UT 84601 
0(8011 373-1467 



NEW IMPROVED 1983 MODELS 

The entire Q.T. product line has been redesigned and improved using com- 
puter controlled manufacturing techniques to insure the highest quality. 
Many new features have been added to every item. The Q.T. 1983 models are 
among the best S-l 00 products available on the market today. They are fully 
compatible with the latest 16/32 bit cpu's. 

Call {8001 238-3100 today for the location of your nearest dealer and/or to 
obtain the 1983 Q.T. catalog. Substantial dealer/OEM discount offered. 
Stocking dealers with retail showrooms and mail order facilities include: 

Priority One, Chatsworth, CA © 800-423-5922 

Bison Products, Los Angeles, CA ©21 3-994-2533 

Compatible Computer, New York City © 212-221-7900 



NOTICE: CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research, Turbodos of Software 2000 and INFOWARE of Compatible 
Computer Corporation. The Q.T. products and systems above are produced and sold under license by 
Compatible Computer Corporation and Golden West Computers, Inc. The Q.T. trademark and product designs 
remain the property of the licensor. Q.T Computer Systems. Inc. of Hawthorne, Calif. 



TERMS: Cash prepayment @ 2% discount, COD or net 30 days with prior credit approval Initial dealer/OEM 
orders must be COD or prepaid (MC/Visa credit card OK). Purchase orders accepted from D&B rated firms. 
Shipping and handling charges estimated at $0.50/lb UPS ground and $1 00/lb UPS Blue Label or airfreight. 
Minimum $3 00. Utah residents add sales tax Export orders welcomed— telex 426382 ITR Ul. 



Q.T. DISCOUNT MICROSYSTEMS PACKAGES 



Q.T. MAXI-SYSTEM PACKAGE-Model 800P Q.T. MINI-SYSTEM PACKAGE -Model 500P 

$6,395.00 $3,995.00 




List $7,995.00 -Save $1,600.00 

— QT 8" Mainframe with 8 slot Motherboard — Televideo 925 Full Featured CRT 

-Choice of printer: C. Itoh F-10 daisy wheel or Oki data M84P high speed dot matrix (200 cps.) 

The Q.T. Maxi-System is an industry standard S-100 expandable microcomputer which is ideal for general 
business computing, word processing and data base management applications. CP/M operating system is 
standard. MP/M or Turbodos optional. Unique Infoware'* utilities simplify operation and user training. 

• Electronics on Two Cards • 64K RAM Standard • Universal Disk Controller • 2 Megabytes on line 

• 4MZ Z80A CPU • Parallel Printer Port • 10-40 MB Hard Disk Option • Expandable to 256K RAM 

• Filtered Fan • Two A.C. Outlets • Key Lock Switch • Two Serial Ports 

Package Price Includes Cables, Documentation & Utility Programs. Model 800 alone $4,995 



List $4,995.00-Save $1,000.00 

-Q.T. 5 1 /." MINI-FRAME w/6 slot MB 
-Televideo 910 Green CRT 
—Dot Matrix printer (M82A) 

• CP/M standard. Turbodos optional. 

• Reliable Single Card Electronics 

• Z80 CPU/Universal DMA controller 

• Dual Double Sided/Density Drives 

• Memory: 64K RAM & 320K Disk Drive 

• Cables, manuals, Infoware 8 Utilities 
Model 500 alone $3,495.00 



Q.T. INDUSTRY STANDARD S-100 MAINFRAMES 




Q.T. MICRO-FRAME - Series 600 
Desk Top-Plain Front Panel 

• 6 to 22 slot Motherboard 

• Full I/O Cutout Array 

• Fused EMI/RFI Filter 

• Heavy Duty Power Supply 
( + 8V@16A±16V@3A) 

QTC-MF+1 No MB $499 

QTC-MF + 6 6 slot MB ....$599 
QTC-MF + 8 8 slot MB ....$649 
QTC-MF + 12 12 slot MB ...$699 
QTC-MF + 18 18 slot MB ...$799 
QTC-MF + 22 22 slot MB . 



Q.T. MINI-FRAME - Series 500 
Desk Top— Dual Mini Drives 

• Holds two 5V4 " Drives 

• Full Cutout Array 
•6, 8, or 12 slot MB. 

• Fused EMI/RFI Filter 

• Hard Disk Power Supply 
( + 8V@16A,±16V@3A, 

±12V@5A, + 5V@5A) 
QTC-MF + MD (No MB) ..$699 
QTC-MF + MD6 6 slot MB .$799 
QTC-MF + MD8 8 slot MB .$849 
QTC-MF + MD12 12 slot MB $899 



Q.T. MAXI -FRAME- -Series 800 
Desk Top for Dual 8" Drives 

• 6, 8, 12 slot Motherboard 

• Universal Drive mounts 

• Key lock Power Switch 

• Heavy Duty Power supply 

( + 8V@16A, ± 16V@3A, + 5V@5A, 
-5V@1A, + 24V@5A) 

QTC-MF + DD1 No MB $799 

QTC-MF + DD6 w/6 s. MB ..$899 
QTC-MF + DD8 w/8s. MB ..$949 
QTC-MF + DD12 w/12s. MB .$999 



Q.T. MAXI -FRAME' 



Q.T. PRO-FRAME e -Series 700 

Rack Mount— Constant Voltage 

QTC-RM + 12 12 slot MB ... $799 
QTC-RM + 18 18 slot MB ...$899 
QTC-RM + 22 22 slot MB ...$999 



Standard features & Options: All QT mainframes are built on a strong steel chassis with sturdy heavy 
gauge aluminum covers. Heavy duty power supplies have individually fused outputs and are shielded by 
an EMI/RFI filter & line surge protector. Standard I/O cutouts include provision for 16 DB 25's, 1 DC 37, 2 
DA15's, Centronics parallel. 1 34 pin and 2 50 pin IDC ribbon cable connectors. Filtered positive pressure 
cooling fan. Twin AC outlets provide convenient connection for and control over printer and terminal. 
Standard colors are charcoal/light grey to match Televideo terminals. Optional colors include brown/tan 
and federal spec, ivory at extra charge. Constant voltage power available on most models— add 
$100.00. EIA rack mount rails available on some units— add $95.00. Complete OEM customization 
available on orders of 10 or more units. Contact factory tor details and pricing. 



Q.T. DISK DRIVE CABINETS AND SUBSYSTEMS 




Q.T.'s All in One® 

Universal Disk Drive Cabinet 
• Expandable • Accepts all 8" drives 

QT's unique new disk drive cabinet has been designed to 
accept virtually any 8" drive on the market today from 
Tandon Thinlines to 40 megabyte Quantums. Features 
include interchangeable face plates (Qume, Shugart, 
Tandon, etc.) and "electronics in a drawer" construction 
to simplify installation and maintenance. Heavy duty 
power supply will carry any combination of up to four 
Thinline, two standard, or one hard disk drive with floppy 
backup. +5V@5A,-5V@1A, + 24V@5A. 

QTC-DDC8 8V-XX w/one faceplate $399.00 

Replacement Faceplates (Specify type & 

number of drives) $25.00 

Tandon 4-drive power cable $15.00 

Data Cables available $20-50.00 





DUAL 8 HORIZONTAL DRIVE CABINET 
SINGLE 8" VERTICAL CABINET Dimensions: 5 "H 17"W 20"D 
Size: 11"H11"W18"D Designed to provide basic disk storage 
Perfect add-on disk drive for any capacity for S-100 and other computers, 
system. Accepts most brands. Low profile permits table top stacking. 
QTC-DDC8V $299 QTC-DDC + 88H $349 

Q.T. "ALL IN ONE" EXPANDABLE DISK DRIVE SUBSYSTEM SPECIALS 

QTC-DDS + with two single sided Siemens Drive (0.5MB) $695 

QTC-DDS + 1 with one double sided Mitsubishi Drive (1MB) $895 

QTC-DDS + 2 with two DSDD Mitsubishi Drives (2MB) $1,495 



normal BDOS vector at memory lo- 
cation 5. GDOS intercepts all 
operating-system function calls. If the 
call is a standard CP/M request, it 
passes control to BDOS; if the func- 
tion call is for a graphics operation, 
GDOS services the request. Because 
GDOS is loaded below GIOS, mem- 
ory is automatically allocated for 
GIOS and GDOS; the size of the tran- 
sient program area (TPA), deter- 
mined by the GDOS entry point, is 



automatically adjusted. The memory 
map in figure 4 shows how GDOS and 
GIOS are loaded into memory at run 
time below the standard CP/M-80 
components, BDOS and BIOS. The 
GSX extension to CP/M-86 works 
slightly differently by reserving a 
special interrupt vector for GSX com- 
munications. Also, the memory- 
management facilities of CP/M-86 
take care of loading the GSX modules 
into the free memory available. 



FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES. 




IT'S 
NEVER BEEN 

A BETTER 
TIME! 



The computer industry is experi- 
encing a spectacular growth, by 
1990 it will become a 20 billion 
dollar industry. Computer retail- 
ing was one of the few industries 
not seriously effected by the 
recent economic crisis. 

Now. . .is a good time to consider 
a franchise opportunity with MicroAge, a leader in computer retail- 
ing. MicroAge has a proven "track record" with over thirty fran- 
chised stores throughout the United States and Canada. \n an 
Industry where experience is crucial, MicroAge has it, with six years 
computer retail experience and three years in franchising. It's iust 
good sense to go with a leader. 

If you're committed to success in computer retailing, it's essential you 
evaluate the MICROAGE COMPUTER STORES Franchise opportu- 
nity. Investment: Sl3O,00O-$2OO,0OO, 

For detailed information about MicroAge "Franchise Opportunities," 
call (602) 968-3168 or write to: 

MicroAge Computer Stores Inc. 
1425 W. 121ft Place 
Jempe, AZ 85281 



MicroAge 

co/MPUTer srore 



•The Solution Store" 



Conclusion 

The adoption of the GKS and VDI 
standards at the programmer and 
device-interface levels offers potential 
object-code portability for microcom- 
puter graphics-application programs. 
Not only will programmers see a con- 
sistent interface to graphics functions 
in their high-level languages, but 
compilers and graphics run-time 
libraries can be generic, with device 
dependencies residing in the operat- 
ing system. Because of this, each 
hardware OEM will install the graph- 
ics portion of an operating system on- 
ly once. Compilers and other utilities 
that conform to the VDI standard will 
then be able to access the virtual 
devices of a system without special 
adaptation. In time, the hardware 
manufacturer, confident of a stable 
device interface, will begin to place 
higher-level functions into the device 
hardware (or firmware). Eventually, 
graphics devices may incorporate a 
full VDI interface, eliminating the 
need for device drivers entirely. 

New products, such as GSX and 
GSS-Kernel, that are based on the 
emerging standards, will contribute 
to the realization of widespread, low- 
cost computer graphics. In the past, 
the adoption of formal standards or 
the emergence of de facto standards 
has proved to be a powerful market 
stimulant. Because of its unique em- 
phases on low cost and a competitive 
software environment, the micro- 
computer industry is especially sen- 
sitive to the benefits of graphics stan- 
dardization. Graphics users owe a 
debt of gratitude to the many re- 
searchers who distilled an inherently 
complex technology into a consistent 
and flexible set of useful constructs. 
In the end we shall all benefit from 
the power of computer graphics. ■ 



Reference 

"Graphical Kernel System (GKS) — Function- 
al Description," Draft International Standard 
ISO/DIS7942, version 7.02, August 9, 1982. 
Copies of this approximately 200-page docu- 
ment can be obtained for $28 from American 
National Standards Institute Inc., 1430 
Broadway, New York, NY 10018, (212) 354- 
3300. 



268 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



Circle 255 on inquiry card. 



MEMORY 

THE FIRST AND ONLY 

BOARD YOUR IBM 

PC MAY EVER 

NEED... 

AND MORE 




FOR A LIMITED TIME, BUY A 256K 
QUADBOARD AND RECEIVE A 64K MEMORY BOARD FREE 
OF CHARGE, OR A 192K MEMORY BOARD FOR ONLY $44.* 



In order to receive a free 64K memory board or a 192K 
memory board for $44, you must purchase a Quadboard 
with 256K installed by Quadram from an authorized 
Quadram dealer between December 1, 1982 and 
February 15, 1983. 

To receive your memory board, send: 

( 1 ) The original sales invoice showing dealer name, 
address, date purchased, and purchase price. 

(2) Coupon from newspaper or magazine (or rebate 
form available from dealer) completely filled in. 

(3) Proof of purchase (256K label from Quadboard 
box). 

(4) Warranty card, showing warranty number and all 
information filled in. 

(5) All receipts, coupons, and proof of purchase forms 
must be mailed together in order to qualify for a 
memory board. Must be postmarked no later than 
March 1, 1983, and received by Quadram by March 
15, 1983. Void where prohibited or taxed. 



' Quadram suggested retail prices: 
256K Quadboard— $995 
64K Memory Board socketed for up to 192K- 
192K Memory Board— S595 

Circle 352 on Inquiry card. 



■S350 



Name 



Address 



. State 



City 

Please include shipping and handling charge 

□ 64K Memory Board 

□ 192K Memory Board 



-Zip 



S5.00 

FREE 

$44.00 



□ Check Enclosed 
Account # 



D VISA 



O MasterCard 
. Expiration Date 



TOTAL . 



Offer void where prohibited or taxed by law. Expires February 15, 1983. 
Allow 8-10 weeks for delivery. 



QUADRAM 

CORPORATION 




4357 Park Drive/ Norcross, Ga. 30093/(404) 923-6666 




INTRODUCING THE 
_ 103 and 103/212 
*2^ SMART-CAT" 
MODEMS. 




They Do 

Everything. 

With Less. For Less. 

Take your pick. With either one, you'll get two very 
important advantages. 

First, each is the best modem in its class. They do 
more, do it easier and do it in less space. The reason: 
our LSI technology is state-of-the-art. Our Smart-Cats 
run better and cooler — and will 
for years. 

Second, you can get your hands 
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The IEEE Standard 
for the S-100 Bus 

With industrywide standardization, manufacturers can 
independently design components that are compatible. 



The microcomputer industry got 
started in late 1974 when a series of 
articles appeared in Radio Electronics 
magazine describing construction 
plans for a computer called the Mark 
8. It was based on the first commer- 
cially available microprocessor, 
Intel's 8008. Today, the 8008 is ob- 
solete. Nevertheless, the Mark 8 was 
the first microcomputer to be put 
within the reach of anyone but em- 
ployees of a very large company, and 
response to the magazine articles was 
tremendous. 

Just before the Mark 8 articles ap- 
peared, Intel had announced a greatly 
enhanced microprocessor, the 8080. 
Les Solomon, who was an editor at 
competing Popular Electronics, 
decided that his magazine should also 
publish a computer-construction arti- 
cle, but that it should use the newer 
8080. He suggested to Ed Roberts, 
then the president of a small company 
called MITS, that Ed's company come 
up with a microcomputer kit. (MITS, 
or Micro Instrumentation and Tele- 
metry Systems, usually specialized in 
electronics for model rocketry but 
had just published a successful scien- 
tific-calculator construction article.) 
Ed agreed and the Altair 8800 corn- 



Mark Garetz 

Chairman, IEEE-696 Committee 

Compupro Division, Godbout Electronics 

Oakland Airport, CA 94614-0355 

puter was born. The first Altair arti- 
cle appeared in the January 1975 issue 
of Popular Electronics and was an in- 
stant success. MITS figured that it 
might sell a grand total of 200 units. It 
received more than 200 orders the 
first day the article appeared! 



Pioneer microcomputer 
builders MITS and IMSAI 

both chose to use a 

100-pin bus to connect 

motherboard and 

daughter boards. 



The Altair was a modular com- 
puter system, meaning that each of 
the computer's functional blocks was 
contained on one circuit board, or 
module. The circuit boards plugged 
into slots on a motherboard, which 
connected the various modules 
(daughter boards) together, with elec- 
trical connections made over a group 
of common lines called the bus. This 
type of system is described as bus- 
oriented. MITS called its bus the 
Altair Bus. The designers chose a con- 
nector for the motherboard that had 



100 pins — not because of any design 
considerations but rather because 
they got a good buy on a surplus 
quantity of them. The layout of the 
signals on the bus seems as if it were 
chosen by the printed-circuit-board 
layout artist rather than a design 
engineer. The signals themselves are 
little more than the buffered control, 
address, and data lines from the 8080 
microprocessor. (We are all lucky 
that Intel did its homework when de- 
signing the 8080's architecture.) 

Being one of the first commercially 
available microcomputers, the Altair 
had many shortcomings. After all, 
the electronics community was low 
on the design curve of microprocessor 
systems. Learning from MITS's mis- 
takes, designers in a company called 
IMSAI (IMS Associates Inc.) decided 
they could build a better version of 
the Altair and proceeded to do so. 
Luckily the IMSAI designers decided 
to "second source" the Altair and 
used the same bus in their computer, 
which was called the IMSAI 8080. 

Meanwhile, many other small com- 
panies appeared, advertising add-on 
boards designed to work in both 
Altairs and IMSAIs. The bus was 
soon being called the Altair/IMSAI 



272 February 1983 © BYTE Publications Inc 



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bus. Many other companies also pro- 
duced bus-compatible computers and 
products, and each wanted to tack its 
name on as well. Names such as the 
Altair/IMSAI/Cromemco/Polymor- 
phic/Processor Technology bus were 
not uncommon. The situation was 
clearly getting out of hand. 

Roger Mellen, one of the principals 
of Cromemco, decided that a generic 
name was needed for the bus. His 
idea was to call it the Standard 100 
bus, or S-100 for short (100 because it 
had 100 pins). The name caught on. 

All the various manufacturers of 
S-100-compatible products had 
adhered to the bus pin arrangement 
fairly well. Only a few minor varia- 
tions existed, and most of these were 
compatible additions using previous- 
ly unused lines. However, although 
the various manufacturers used the 
same names for the signals, the timing 
of the signals could vary widely from 
manufacturer to manufacturer. This 
created many problems for people 
trying to get Board X to work with 
Board Y, etc. Something had to be 
done. 

Bob Stewart, then chairman of the 
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Elec- 
tronics Engineers) Computer Stan- 
dards Committee, suggested to George 
Morrow and Howard Fullmer (two 
noted S-100 designers) that they at- 
tempt to quantify the bus-timing rela- 
tionships and other aspects of the bus 
and submit the bus for approval as an 
IEEE standard. The IEEE thought it 
was a good idea, and so did George 
and Howard, so a task number was 
assigned to the effort and a working 
group was formed to draft the stan- 
dard. The task number was 696, and 
the standard will be known as IEEE 
696. 

The working group prepared a pre- 
liminary draft and passed it around 
for comments to everyone working 
with the S-100 bus. John Walker of 
Marinchip Systems proposed a 
method for allowing 16-bit processors 
and memory to use the bus as well as 
8-bit processors. David Gustavson 
proposed a scheme that would allow 
up to 16 DMA (direct memory access) 
devices to exist on the bus at any one 
time. A few new signals were pro- 
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274 February WW © BYTE Publications Inc 



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A Quick Reference to the IEEE-696 Bus Layout 

Here is a guide to the IEEE-696 bus layout for easy reference. The letters RFU stand for "reserved for future use"; the IEEE com- 
mittee may assign signals to these pins at some future date. The letters NDEF mean "not defined"; these pins are available to be 
assigned signals by manufacturers, a procedure that requires notifying the committee and providing full documentation for the 
users. The asterisk (*) indicates a negative-true signal; note that some signals are not necessarily true or false, although the lack of 
an asterisk in their name might imply positive-true sense. 


Signal Signal 
Pin Name Origin Pin Name Origin 




master 


slave 


master 
or slave 


anywhere 




master 


slave 


master 
or slave 


anywhere 


1 + 8 V 

2 + 16V 

3 XRDY 

4 VIO* 

5 V1 1* 




X 
X 
X 




X 
X 


51 + 8V 

52 - 16 V 

53 V 

54 SLAVE CLR* 

55 TMA0* 


X 






X 


6 VI2* 

7 VI3* 

8 VI4* 

9 VI5* 
10 VI6* 




X 
X 
X 
X 
X 






56 TMA1 * 

57 TMA2* 

58 sXTRQ* 

59 A19 

60 SIXTN* 


X 
X 
X 
X 


X 






11 VI7* 

12 NMI* 

13 PWRFAIL* 

14 TMA3* 

15 A18 


X 
X 


X 
X 




x 


61 A20 

62 A21 

63 A22 

64 A23 

65 NDEF 


X 
X 

X 
X 








16 A16 

17 A17 

18 SDSB* 

19 CDSB* 

20 V 


X 
X 
X 
X 






X 


66 NDEF 

67 PHANTOM* 

68 MWRT 

69 RFU 

70 V 






X 


X 


21 NDEF 

22 ADSB* 

23 DODSB* 

24 <f> 

25 pSTVAL* 


X 
X 
X 
X 








71 RFU 

72 RDY 

73 INT* 

74 HOLD* 

75 RESET* 


X 


X 

X 




, 


26 pHLDA 

27 RFU 

28 RFU 

29 A5 

30 A4 


X 

X 
X 








76 pSYNC 

77 pWR* 

78 pDBIN* 

79 A0 

80 A1 


X 
X 
X 
X 
X 








31 A3 

32 A15 

33 A12 

34 A9 

35 D01 (or ED1) 


X 
X 
X 
X 
X 




(X) 




81 A2 . 

82 A6 

83 A7 

84 A8 

85 A13 


X 
X 
X 
X 








36 DOO (or EDO) 

37 A10 

38 D04 (or ED4) 

39 D05 (or ED5) 

40 D06 (or ED6) 


X 
X 
X 
X 
X 




(X) 

(X) 
(X) 
(X) 




86 A14 

87 A11 

88 D02 (or ED2) 

89 D03 (or ED3) 

90 D07 (or ED7) 


X 
X 
X 
X 
X 




(X) 
(X) 
(X) 




41 DI2 (or 0D2) 

42 D!3 (or 0D3) 

43 DI7 (or OD7) 

44 sM1 

45 SOUT 


X 
X 


X 
X 
X 


(X) 
(X) 
(X) 




91 DI4 (or OD4) 

92 DI5(orOD5) 

93 DI6(orOD6) 

94 DI1 (or OD1) 

95 DI0 (or OD0) 




X 

X 
X 
X 
X 


(X) 
(X) 
(X) 
(X) 
(X) 




46 sINP 

47 sMEMR 

48 sHLTA 

49 CLOCK 

50 V 


X 
X 
X 






X 
X 


96 sINTA 

97 sWO* 

98 ERROR* 

99 POC* 

100 OV 


X 
X 


X 


X 
X 




276 February 1983 © BYTE Pub 


lications Inc 





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tersystems (then known as Ithaca 
Audio). The second draft of the docu- 
ment that came out of the working 
group contained important additions 
and enhancements to the original 
Altair bus but still retained a signifi- 
cant level of compatibility with older 
designs. (The original Altair pro- 
cessor board still conforms to today's 
standard.) 

This second draft was published in 
the July 1979 issue of the IEEE's Com- 
puter magazine for public comment. 
There were lots of comments, mostly 
favorable. The 1979 draft needed lots 
of work. Definitions were unclear in 
places, and many additional para- 
meters needed to be specified. The 
committee grew; George resigned as 
chairman, and Howard took over. 
Meetings were sporadic, but heated 
debates occurred on some issues, pre- 
venting other work from being ac- 
complished. Howard called for a final 
meeting to occur on June 30, 1981, at 
10:30 a.m. All final comments on the 
draft were to be submitted in writing 
prior to that date. 

More than 20 people were present 
at that meeting from all parts of the 
country. The meeting began at 10:30 
a.m. and ended around 11:30 that 
evening. All the issues had been 
resolved to everyone's satisfaction. I 
volunteered the services of Compu- 
pro (the company I work for, in Oak- 
land, California) to produce a third 
draft of the standard, incorporating 
all the changes approved at the 
meeting. 

Now the activities of the committee 
entered a period of dormancy. 
Howard took a long time in organiz- 
ing his notes of the various changes; 
he was losing interest in chairing the 
committee (having moved out of the 
S-J.00 business some time before) and 
so turned the chairmanship over to 
me. With the help of Bob Davis, I 
prepared the third draft of the stan- 
dard and sent it out to the members of 
the working group for comment. 
Changes were still necessary. After 
spending many hours on the phone to 
various committee members, draft 5 
was completed and sent out for a vote 
for final approval by the working 
group. It passed with only one dis- 
senting vote. 



The next step was to submit it to 
the Microprocessor Standards Com- 
mittee of the IEEE for approval. It 
passed unanimously. Next the draft 
was submitted to the Computer Stan- 
dards Committee and was accepted. 
The last hurdle was the IEEE Stan- 
dards Board, which passed the draft 
on December 9, 1982. With that vote, 
IEEE 696 became a bona fide IEEE 
standard. 

Technical Features of the Bus 

The IEEE-696/S-100 bus is one of 
the highest-performance buses in exis- 
tence today. It supports both 8- and 
16-bit processors, up to 16 megabytes 
of memory, and 64K I/O (input/out- 
put) ports. Almost every type of pro- 
cessor imaginable, from the 8080 to 
the latest Intel iAPX 286, is available 
for the bus. There are more than 100 
active manufacturers of products for 
the bus and many more than 500 dif- 
ferent circuit cards available. 

IEEE-696/S-100 systems consist of 
anywhere from 4 to 22 slots. Each 
system must contain a permanent bus 
master, which is usually the processor 
board. The system will have some 
memory and I/O boards called 
slaves. In addition to the permanent 
master, the system may contain up to 
16 temporary masters, DMA-like 
devices, such as disk controllers or 
secondary processors. As many as 16 
temporary masters may exist because 
each is assigned a priority number. If 
more than one temporary master re- 
quests the bus at the same time, the 
one with the highest priority number 
will take precedence, and the lower 
priority master will have to wait its 
turn. (This process is called arbitra- 
tion.) 

Because a temporary master can 
perform any type of cycle when it 
gets control of the bus (not just a 
memory cycle), the committee 
deemed the term DMA inappropriate 
and substituted the term TMA (for 
temporary master access). Four new 
lines were added to the bus to imple- 
ment this arbitration scheme, TMA0* 
through TMA3* (the style of the stan- 
dard defines any signal with an 
asterisk suffix as negative-true, a style 
I will use in this article). Each tem- 
porary master asserts its priority on 



278 February 1983 © BYTE Publication! Inc 



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on separate boards since December, 
1981. They are still available as separates 
(including a Dual Port Async Board) for 
those who desire a quality board but do 
not need to keep slots open for future 
expansion. And they all come with a 
one year warranty from the leader in 
technology applications. 



256K MEMORY EXPANSION. 

Socketed and expandable in 64K 
increments to 256K, full parity generation 
and checking are standard. A Quad- 
board exclusive feature allows parity to 
be switch disabled to avoid lock-up 
upon error detection. The dip switches 
also allow it to be addressed starting 
on any 64K block so that it takes up only 
as much as it has memory installed. 
Memory access and cycle time naturally 
meet all IBM specifications. 



CLOCK/CALENDAR. 

Quadboard eliminates the hassle of 
manually inputting the date on system 
boot-up by providing for the clock and 
all software routines necessary for 
inserting the appropriate programs on 
your diskettes. The internal computer 
clock is automatically set for compati- 
bility with most software routines which 
utilize clock functions. On-board battery 
keeps the clock running when the 
computer is off. 



SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 269 







ALL ON ONE BOARD 

Now you can utilize all the PC's capacity 
with Quadram's extremely flexible con- 
figurations. And it's totally compatible 
with IBM hardware, operating systems, 
and high level languages. It's a full-size 
board that can be inserted into any free 
system slot and it even includes a card 
edge guide for securely mounting t