COMMODORE VIC-20 (May, 1982)



“The best computer value in the world today. The only computer you’ll need for years to come.”

Read the chart and see why COMPUTE! Magazine1 calls the VIC-20 computer “an astounding machine for the price.” Why BYTE raves: “…the VIC-20 computer unit is unexcelled as a low-cost consumer computer.” Why Popular Mechanics says “… for the price of around $300, it’s the only game in town that is more than just a game.”

V.R. Goggles: 3-D trip inside a drawing, via computer graphics (Apr, 1971)

3-D trip inside a drawing, via computer graphics

Slip this display device on your head and you see a computer-generated 3-D image of a room before your eyes. Move your head and your perspective changes, just as though you were actually inside the room. Architects could use the device to draw buildings in three dimensions; realtors could use it to show buyers the interiors of homes without even leaving the office. Dr. Ivan Sutherland, University of Utah, invented the device, essentially a computer-graphics version of the old stereoscope.

The Second West Coast Computer Faire (Jul, 1978)

The Second West Coast Computer Faire

By Chris Morgan, Editor

San Jose was the place to be last March 3, 4 and 5 for the Second West Coast Computer Faire. The Convention Center was easily able to handle the crowd of 14,169 who came to see the latest developments in personal computing.

A quick examination of some of the hundreds of manufacturers’ booths revealed some trends: floppy disks are on the increase, with new models being shown or promised by Heathkit, Apple, Radio Shack and many others; more and more personal computers are now being offered with built-in floppy disks; peripherals and add-ons are now available for a wide variety of computer buses.


I certainly remember Elephant disks. When I first got my Apple IIc I joined a subscription service at a local software store where they let you rent a different program every week. Every time you went in to swap programs they would also give you a free, Elephant brand, floppy disk. In retrospect I was obviously supposed to pirate the apps, but I was 9 and found my self thwarted by the copy protection. I remember, some apps would let you make one, and only one back up disk of the program. So if I was the first one to rent it, then I could snag a copy.



Says who? Says ANSI.

Specifically, subcommittee X3B8 of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) says so. The fact is all Elephant™ floppies meet or exceed the specs required to meet or exceed all their standards.

But just who is “subcommittee X3B8” to issue such pronouncements?

Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 2: 18th and 19th Century Mechanical Marvels (Aug, 1978)

Be sure to check out Part 1.

Antique Mechanical Computers Part 2: 18th and 19th Century Mechanical Marvels

Dr James M Williams
58 Trumbull St
New Haven CT 06510

In “Part 1: Early Automata,” page 48, July 1978 BYTE, we traced the development of antique mechanical computers up to the middle of the 18th century, and described such devices as Vaucanson’s mechanical duck. Now we continue with a discussion of talking, writing and music playing automata of the 18th and 19th centuries. (The discussion is not meant to be an exhaustive one, of course, since that would be beyond the scope of this series.) Later Automata.

Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 1: Early Automata (Jul, 1978)

Antique Mechanical Computers – Part 1: Early Automata

Dr James M Williams
58 Trumbull St
New Haven CT 06510

My purpose in writing these articles is to remind computer enthusiasts that there is a high technology in every age, not just our own. Described herein are some of the stellar accomplishments of earlier times. The technology of electronics is merely the latest link in a continuous chain of technological developments spanning 20,000 years. Before that, there was a mechanical technology.

Part 1 of this three part series describes some highlights in the development of automata up to the 18th century. Part 2 continues with 18th and 19th century developments, and part 3 concludes with a description of Torres’ 1911 chess automaton.

About the Cover: Pascal’s Triangle (Aug, 1978)

This reminds me of XKCD’s Map of Online Communities.There was a time when Pascal seemed like it was the ascendant language, just before C just zoomed on by and took over the world. I remember reading the Inside Macintosh books when I was a kid and thinking, shit, I’m going to have to learn this Pascal thing.

About the Cover

by Carl Helmers

It is rare when one can indulge in one’s prejudices with relative impunity, poking a bit of good humored fun to make a point. The design of the cover, entitled “Pascal’s Triangle” provided just such an opportunity. The cover was executed by Robert Tinney, but the prejudices are all mine and were given to him as a fairly detailed script. The point is that Pascal is here, it is consistent with use by small computers, such as many readers own, and it is available in the form of the UCSD software system at quite a nominal charge above the cost of the hardware required.

Memo calculators store your facts and figures (Feb, 1980)

Memo calculators store your facts and figures

Always forgetting appointments? Two new $100 calculators that store alphanumeric messages also have date, time, and alarm functions. When an alarm beeps, your stored reminders are spelled out on LCD’s. Toshiba’s LC-1038MN has 30 memories to store messages at dates and times up to one year ahead. The owner’s manual, though, has tiny print and a format that makes it tough to learn how to use this model.


Jayessel: this reminded me of the stuff you did with your IIe.


The CBX Series: affordable, intelligent color imaging systems
The CBX subsystem interfaces with your PDP-11 ,* LSI-11* or other computer to provide high resolution imaging capabilities. With the optional frame grabber and television camera, you digitize full-color images from any source, using a computer-controlled color filter system.

Turn your Apple into the world’s most versatile personal computer. (May, 1982)

Turn your Apple into the world’s most versatile personal computer.

The Softcard™ Solution. Softcard turns your Apple into two computers. A Z-80 and a 6502. By adding a Z-80 microprocessor and CP/M to your Apple, Softcard turns your Apple into a CP/M based machine. That means you can access the single largest body of microcomputer software in existence. Two computers in one. And, the advantages of both.