Conte amphibian Twin stern propellers, powered by individual hydrostatic motors, push this $36,000 German Conte amphibian through the water. On land, its 114- or 135-hp V6 drives the back wheels instead of a marine pump. Maker: Herzog, 6239 Kriftel, Elizabethenstrasse 3, Germany.
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.
America's best MPG Van. King-size payioad, king-size economy. Ford vans are built tough. 1980 models can take up to 2,300 kg (5,070 lbs.—of payload—more than last year on most models). They're built for spacious comfort. Out-front engine design means plenty of move-around room for driver and passengers.
By JOHN FREE Voice-controlled hi-fi At a recent Toshiba press conference I noticed a stack of mini-hi-fi components [PS, Jan.] with a microphone attached. But the mike, I learned, wasn't plugged in to record music. Instead, it lets you store 15 verbal commands in a microcomputer memory. After that, the hi-fi system responds only to your voice, enabling you to perform 19 functions—operating a cassette deck orally, controlling volume, or selecting tuner channels, for example.
BY WILLIAM J. HAWKINS Coded alarm Walk within 50 feet of Radio Shack's RF intrusion-alarm system and you'd better know the four-digit code to silence it. Not even a power failure will stop it from standing sentry in your home—it has a built-in battery backup. The Safehouse Alarm is $179.95. Mobile computer Route Commander is a totally portable computer system designed for on-the-road sales and delivery persons. It balances the books and keeps track of inventory, tolls, and parking; comes with keyboard, display, and printer. Norand, 550 Second St. S.E., Cedar Rapids, la. 52401.
Giant, high-energy devices can help reveal the forces that bind matter together By PETER GWYNNE GENEVA, SWITZERLAND The security guard studied our passes carefully. I was sitting in a car with engineer Vince Hatton at the entrance to a tunnel in the spacious grounds of the Centre Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire, known universally by its acronym CERN, in Geneva. Despite its title, CERN has nothing to do with nuclear power. It is a center for the study of high-energy physics, the science that reveals the fundamental basis of matter. The security guard who stopped us was more concerned with checking passports than flushing out terrorists. For after he approved our papers, and Vince drove the few hundred yards through the tunnel, we emerged in France. CERN and its huge accelerator known as the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) stretch across the boundary between Switzerland and France, and the special tunnel allows scientists to move themselves and their equipment easily within the installation without having to pass through the passport and customs posts above ground.