So Input

"(He) seems to be under the illusion I threw a few integrated circuits into a bag (and) shook it up..

Joystick Not Foolproof

In response to Dennis Kitsz's letter expressing concern over what he calls theoretical problems with my joystick construction story in the June 1981 issue, I am sure the readers understand the point Mr. Kitsz seemed to miss. The joysticks were intended only to be used with a suitable program to draw or play games and not to be left on line when running other programs or when using*additional peripheral devices. That is why there is no off-on switch. The user must unplug the joystick interface, to disconnect the batteries, if not they will go dead in which case the unit will not operate and a "Theoretical Bus Contention" would not be possible. That is why I said in the article "practically foolproof.' ^Sorry Dennis, I didn't mean to fool YOU.)

When a joystick program is running it is impossible to CLOAD at the same time. And lnp(1) will not open the cassette port; lnp(255) does that. I see no problem there.

As far as the hex inverters are concerned, all that they do is pull some of the data lines down to ground potential; this is also dohe by the keyboard and all other input devices, and is not harmful to the computer.

In theory an AA cell is 1.5 volts, but in reality it provides somewhat less voltage. Four AA cells connected in a series and operating under a load, such as the joystick interface, provide only 5 volts. I have tested the device with several brands of batteries and all developed less than 5 volts.

Mr. Kitsz states that a possible problem could arise if the joystick was pushed to zero. Again he is in error. Had he read the article carefully he would have seen that 241 is the lowest data number the circuit develops.

Dennis seems to be under the illusion that I threw a few integrated circuits into a brown paper bag, shook it up, and by some incredible stroke of luck, as he puts it, came forth with a working device. (Witchcraft?)

Just for the record, Dennis, this was a carefully thought-out and tested project. All the joystick units that I have built since the first one (21 months ago) still work perfectly. Have you built even one and tested it?

May I remind the readers about the scientist who claimed that, theoretically, a Bumble Bee cannot fly because its wings are too small for its body. Well folks, it does fly and so do my joysticks.

Frank DiNunzio Bristol, PA


Mr. Zeppa's letter concerning Harv Pennington and his Disk and Other Mysteries is a real jewel (June 1981). Literacy is the ability to communicate ideas and thoughts. Harv did a masterpiece of communicating a technical and complicated subject in a refreshing and informative way. I suppose Mr. Zeppa likes dry and methodical technical writing. I'd bet Mr. Zak's work on the Z-80 would give Mr. Zeppa goose bumps! I have enjoyed reading Pennington's writing for some time. Writers such as Pennington and Dr. Lien have done a service to laymen in the microcomputing field.

I quote from Mr. Zeppa, "I would still be embarrassed by the semiliterate style, or lack thereof, of TRS-80 Disk and Other Mysteries." Now, does Mr. Zeppa mean the work was lacking semiliteracy? I'm confused. Surely he meant the work was not up to his literary standards. Why in the hell didn't he say that? I rest my case.

Steve Wright Dayton, TX

Praise for Pennington

I can't believe what people are saying about H. C. Pennington's TRS-80 Disk and Other Mysteries. Just to learn about restoring killed files is well worth the price of a hundred books. I never thought that so much information could be stuffed into a book that size. Mr. Pennington turns Superzap from a thing used to put in Ap-parat zaps to a very useful utility. I have read the book from cover to cover and have learned many useful things. Mr. Pennington explains in English how to recover every type of file that I could dream of! His program Search has saved me many hours of work. I can now restore files as easily as I can kill them. I no longer have to remember passwords because I can easily change them to whatever I want whenever I want. I now know how to speak binary, thanks to Mr. Pennington.

Robert Smicinski Amsterdam, NY

Shack Selling Bootleg

I was surprised by the comments attributed to Mr. Ed Juge on page 58 of the June 1981 issue of 80 Microcomputing concerning protection of Radio Shack software. It surprised me because if anyone is guilty of giving away other company's proprietary software without permission, it is surely Radio Shack. How often have Radio Shack dealers or computer stores given away bootleg copies of other companies' software to their customers? It would appear that Mr. Juge wants to apply a double standard to the computer community. Radio Shack software is sacred but that of other companies can be freely "used."

If Radio Shack is going to abuse the rest of the industry by their own actions, then it is unreasonable for them to expect that they too should not share in such treatment.

John Paul Kapp, president JK Consulting, Inc.

Baton Rouge, LA

Isolated Incidents

I would feel it was reasonable and proper for all authors to be able to protect their software from unauthorized copying. Mr. Kapp seems to assume that I am advocating that only Radio Shack's software should be protected.

With over 6,000 outlets in the United States, I'm sure there are several people in our employ who do not follow the rules.

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