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Language translators — more models and new tricks
Translations and instant info are only the beginning
By BILL HAWKINS
“Want to try a Ramos Fizz?” asked Eliot Hess, a representative for the Craig Corporation, as he pushed a couple of buttons on his hand-held language translator. The display blackened for a moment and then, like a Times Square billboard, began spewing the secret ingredients to a drink I didn’t even know existed. Not only did it tell me I needed such things as one-half teaspoon of orange-flower water; it also told me how to mix and serve the concoction.
The Texas Instruments Home Computer gives you a tutor, an accountant, a librarian, a file clerk and a pro football team in your own home.
“What do I need with a home computer?” you ask.
Try thinking of it as easier ways to handle dozens of jobs at home – from pawing through that box of receipts in the closet to explaining adverbs to your 7-year-old.
The basis for continuing innovation.
From the leader…
TIs 990/9900 First Family.
Most cost-effective means of using microelectronics. To improve. To change. lb innovate for today and tomorrow Tl’s 990/9900 Family Software Compatibility from Components to Boards to Systems Not quite twenty years ago, the integrated circuit was born at Texas Instruments. And sparked a pervasive revolution that’s impacting all our lives.
Three new home computers that teach themselves – and teach you how to use them
They’re smart, they come ready to work, and one of them even talks to you
By BILL HAWKINS
PHOTOS BY ORLANDO GUERRA
Only two years ago, home computers were for the hobbyist: a jumble of wires, transistors, and circuit boards that came in a kit. And once the kit was assembled, there was complicated programming to master. Things have really changed since then.
Recently I’ve been trying three of the newest home units from APF, Atari, and Texas Instruments (first reported on in PS, Nov. ’79). They’re no more complicated to hook up than a video game. The programming can be learned in just a few evenings. External pieces, such as a printer for making permanent records, are as easy to plug in as a toaster. Best of all, the computers can teach themselves.
New 1978 Electronic Games
A host of video and nonvideo electronic games, many using microprocessors, promises the public more stimulating fun for leisure time.
BY KRIS JENSEN
A COUPLE of years ago, an electronic video game consisted of a simple “black box” that, when connected to a TV receiver, produced little more than some version of video table tennis. In some cases today, that black box is virtually a personal computer. Now there are games whose color images try your gambling instincts at blackjack, your “destroy” capability against an enemy tank, your patience and fortitude through a maze while a “cat” attempts to devour you, your artistic talent with computer-drawn pictures, or your knowledge of math and history. And that is just the beginning in video games!
Popular Mechanics was definitely ahead of the curve when it came recognizing the fact that copy protection can stifle innovation:
It used to be that programs were easy to copy and change. But manufacturers began to lose money as many people made copies of software and gave them to their friends.
Now, many manufacturers have figured out how to “copy-protect” discs. A copy-protected discâ€”like a cartridgeâ€”can’t be copied or changed.
To our mind this is a disaster: Most people learn programming by changing programs to fit their own needs. This capability of customization is what makes computers so attractive. New ways of copy protection will probably be found soon. Until then, a computer owner may have to put up with being “locked out” of his own machine.
PM Compares 6 Top Computers
Here are the six best buys in home computers; one is the perfect machine for you.
by Neil Shapiro electronics editor
Now that you’ve discovered what computers can do for youâ€” from word processing to database management, from better-than-arcade games to educational programsâ€”you may also find that choosing which machine to buy can seem hopeless. If you’re thinking of joining the computer revolution, consider these six best buys that we chose out of the dozens in the computer world.