Archive
Computers
The Only Video Game Voice Module with an Unlimited Vocabulary (Oct, 1982)

“The keyboard is the key to greater challenge.”

With that membrane keyboard, I’d say so.

The Only Video Game Voice Module with an Unlimited Vocabulary

The Voice from Odyssey 2 adds a whole new dimension to the fun of video games. With this optional module and its specially programmed cartridges, Odyssey 2 becomes the only video game system that can repeat any words typed into the keyboard, and much more!

Depending upon which cartridge you insert The Voice can do a whole bunch of other exciting things. Like asking questions and demanding answers to math and spelling problems. It even enhances sound effects and warns of approaching enemies in certain arcade games!

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COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR – Mactribesmen (Jul, 1984)

The Mac had only been out for six months and already the fanboy trope was already in full effect.

“I’ve already experienced what happens when one is less than enthusiastic about Macintosh: the Mactribesmen descend in force with fire and sword.”

COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR

The AT&T Computers

Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psychology and is a science-fiction writer who also earns a comfortable living writing about computers present and future.

I’ve just come back from COMDEX Winter in the Los Angeles Exposition Center, where I got to play with the new AT&T computers.

Like, Wow!

When AT&T announced a computer line, there was a bit of panic on Wall Street; after the prices were announced, the excitement died away. Too expensive. Who’s worried about a computer line whose lowest-cost item is a $9950 desktop? How can that affect the micro world? That’s what many Wall Street analysts said, anyway.

Dream on.

I don’t own any computer stock—the conflict of interest is obvious—but if 1 did, I’d give that analysis a lot of thought. People, that AT&T desktop computer is one hell of a machine.

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fosdic III and the ’60 Census (Jun, 1960)

fosdic III and the ’60 Census

Electronics lends a much needed helping hand to the census takers for this big once-in-10-years event.

IF you haven’t already, you’ll soon be filling in the decennial census form, 1960 version, designed to include every U. S. family. Nearly 160,000 persons will be employed by the Bureau of the Census to collect and process this data. The National Bureau of Standards has made their job easier by developing FOSDIC III (Film Optical Sensing Device for Input to Computers), an electronic workhorse that rapidly reads (detects) pen or pencilled marks in multiple choice answer areas that have been microfilmed.

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By The Year 2000,The World May Catch Up With The Way CompuServe’s New Electronic Mall Lets You Shop today. (Jul, 1984)

Given that Amazon.com opened in 1995, I’d say they were a bit optimistic.

By The Year 2000,The World May Catch Up With The Way CompuServe’s New Electronic Mall Lets You Shop today.

Introducing the first computer shopping service that brings you convenience, savings and enjoyment Here’s your chance to expand the practical uses of your personal computer.

Sign up for CompuServe and shop in our new Electronic Mall. It’s easy to use It tells you more about the products you’re buying. It lets you order faster. And it’s totally unique CompuServe’s new Electronic Mall ” offers you all these shopping Innovations.

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MORE COLOR. MORE SOUND. MORE GRAPHICS CAPABILITIES. (Mar, 1980)

MORE COLOR. MORE SOUND. MORE GRAPHICS CAPABILITIES.

Compare the built-in features of leading microcomputers with the Atari personal computers. And go ahead, compare apples and oranges. Their most expensive against our least expensive: the ATARI 400 Start with graphics capabilities. The ATARI 400 offers 128 color variations. 16 colors in 8 luminance levels. Plus 29 keystroke graphics symbols and 8 graphics modes. All controlled from a full 57 key ASCII keyboard. With upper and lower case. And the system is FCC approved with a built-in RF modulator That’s just for openers.

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PC Owners… Reach for Your Phone! This Winchester is Loaded… with UNIX Software (Jul, 1984)

It does come with a one year “warrranty”. The extra “r” is for reliability!

PC Owners… Reach for Your Phone! This Winchester is Loaded… with UNIX Software

That’s right partner. Now is the time to upgrade your PC with the Sundowndisk. Includes controller. Installs right inside your PC in less than 10 minutes. Backed by our full one-year warrranty.

But that’s only half the story . . . The Sundown comes loaded with VenturCom Venix/86. This highly-acclaimed operating system is a licensed implementation of AT&Ts UNIX and is the only MULTI-USER, MULTI-TASKING UNIX environment available on the IBM PC.

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Undo. Windows. Mouse. Finally. (Jul, 1984)

Undo. Windows. Mouse. Finally.

New Microsoft Word. It makes your IBM Personal Computer think its better than a $10,000 word processor With Microsoft Word, what you see on the screen is what you get on the paper So its easy to spot mistakes. Boldface, underline, and italics look like this, not this: ^Bboldface^B, ^Sunderline^S, ^Italics^I And, when you make changes, paragraphs are automatically reformatted. Flush right, flush left, centered or justified. It even gives you several columns on a page, like a newspaper.

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THE WEST COAST FAIRE (Jul, 1984)

THE WEST COAST FAIRE

by Jerry Pournelle

The lord of the Manor visits his favorite computer show.

The West Coast Computer Faire is my favorite computer show; how can a big publishing company like Prentice-Hall put it on the way Jim Warren did?

Of course it can’t and it didn’t, but in justice. Jim Warren wouldn’t have been able to keep it up. either. For better or worse, the micro industry has changed. Oh, sure, there are still some pretty good products for sale in the little booths along the walls, but there were fewer than in the old days for the simple reason that the big outfits also have a lot of incredible new stuff, and it’s a lot harder for a newcomer to compete.

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Hand-held Microwriter (Feb, 1980)

“An electronic substitute for the fountain pen” is not exactly how I’d pitch a new invention in 1980. The replacement for the fountain pen was the ball point. On the other hand, if any investors are interested in my new digital replacement for the 8-Track cassette, you know where to find me.

Hand-held Microwriter

If you can’t type, yet want to write perfect letters or memos without the help of a secretary, Microwriter could be the answer. It resembles a large pocket calculator, but has only five main keys, which fit the relaxed finger positions of your right hand. Individual alphabet letters are formed by an easily learned finger code, in which one or more keys are pressed for each character.

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the case of the disappearing data (Apr, 1965)

the case of the disappearing data

There’s Norman L. Battle, who needs the information on a computer tape in a hurry.

There’s Nancy Havens, who went to the tape vault and was never heard from again.

There’s Horace Cotton, who thinks he saw the tape in the hands of Don Walters, but won’t swear to it.

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