Disk Drives

RS Model III 1ST-Drive Tandon40TrackMI Color Computer Drive 1 Color Computer Drive 0 Primary Hard Disk Mil Primary Hard Disk Mill ETC.

CCR-81 recorder 52

C C Joysticks 22

16K RAM NEC 200 N S chips 25 64K Ram Chips 75

ColorComputerFlexDOS 99 Brand Name Software •

Send for listing RS Software 10% oil list

'Compulef Plus New Equipment

TOuraie 1-800-343-8124

P.O. Box 926 480 King Street Littleton. MA 01460 617-486-3193


First and last

ESF Owners

Here is the first issue of 80-U.S. Journal for 1983 and . . . yes . . . the last issue of @ News. Dry your tears, friends, and I'll tell you why. The wise old men in the executive suite at 80-U.S. (who may edit this all out anyway) have decided that, based on a statistical analysis of the incoming mail, two pages every month is just too much space to devote to a minority. This is partly a gut feeling, because nobody really knows how many active ESF users there are ... or how many disk, tape or Models I, II and III owners there are either.

Rest assured that by no means will 80-U.S. turn its back on ESF owners. The editors are committed to affirmative action! They promise to treat all minorities fairly. From time to time there will be articles concerning ESF. There is one in the works right now which contains a badly needed utility. Watch for it soon.

New Year's Day is a good time to confess sins and resolve to right wrongs. My sin has been the shabby way I have treated all the people who have written me letters of appreciation for my modest and often faulted efforts. Your patience has been long and this week it will be rewarded, I promise.

I'll devote most of this column to some candid and possibly valuable observations about Exatron Corporation. First I'll respond to the most common complaint in letters. "Why don't they get their act together?" Well folks, it just isn't an act. They're like that down there. I've seen several packets of info for new owners. Every one was 98 80-U.S, Journal an informative farewell

Spencer Hall, Associate editor different. All were crammed with valuable information, not the least of which is their toll-free hot line (1-800-538-8559). These packets are collated, apparently with the use of a random number generator, so as to make reference to them very difficult if you haven't sorted the stuff into categories. Many queries have come to me which could have been answered from this packet. More could have been cleared up by a free call to Sunnyvale.

Be advised: Hardware question? Ask for Jim Howell or "a technical person" on whatever equipment is bugging you. Software questions? Ask for Bill Burnham who knows nearly everything. If you manage to stump him, which isn't easy, he'll know whom to contact for the answer.

Actually, Exatron wears two faces these days. There is the old Exatron, an extension of Bob Howell, Sr.'s personality. It loves computers and programming and those who share this love. It supports the Owners Association, occasionally forgets to answer mail, always answers the Hot Line with generous assistance, and likes nothing better than to offer new and sophisticated utilities to run on its products.

The other face is a tough-minded business management which is trying, with remarkable success, to get ESF into other computers as OEM (that's jargon for "part of the package you buy") equipment. Financially, they've done wonders for what was frankly, until they arrived, one of the largest "cottage" operations in the personal computer field. This group is cool to the whole ESFOA concept and has forced some tough policy changes on the old guard. Give them credit, however, for upgrading the ESF and lowering its price . . . also for the recent improvement in wafer quality.

Incidentally, the most negative letter I ever received was from Robert H. Rheinlander of Clinton, PA. It was only a copy. The original went directly to Exatron. He blames me for "suckering" him into buying a drivel at $199.50 just weeks before the price was dropped to $99.50!

That hurt me, too. However, rest assured that neither I nor; I suspect, anyone at Exatron knew that price break was coming until hours before the decision was reached. The economies of scale resulting from OEM contracts made it possible. And that's what we have to expect in the squashy electronics business! I'm printing this article on my "bargain" Okidata Microline-80, without lowercase descenders yet, which cost me only $659. Have you checked the ads lately?

Like Mr. Rheinlander, I find that files @SAVEd on the old style drive often won't @LOAD on the newer one. This happens even though speeds of the two are within 2% of each other. Then again, they occasionally will load. I've marked most of my wafers with the drive they were made on. It's not too bad a deal.

As for the speed-up kit that was taken off the market, I mourn it too. It was a peach! Several of my friends have tried to get one but no soap! I suspect that the gung ho side of Exatron management wants to push the 64K in-keyboard upgrade with its built in speed-up. Unfortunately, not only is this piece of equipment expensive ($199.95), but to use it effectively in the absence of available software requires a degree of knowledge that most of us don't have. How about a write-in campaign folks?

I'll conclude this farewell column by calling your attention to a number of Exatron programs that are worth buying an ESF just to have available. They are all available from Exatron Corporation.

ESF MONITOR: One of the best monitors around for the money. With it you can copy machine language programs from tape to wafer, or from wafer to tape. You can print screen panels or hard copy panels of machine language programs in hexidecimal, write programs in hexidecimal, debug them with break points, etc.

WHAT'S ON IT: Displays all files on a wafer, stating whether they are BASIC, machine language or data files, showing the byte count of each and the ASCII values of the first few bytes.

COPY CAT: Copies an entire wafer (programs only) automatically with one command.

LOWERCASE DRIVER: Occupies 345 bytes of high memory vs. Tandy's 1024 but does the same thing.

@FREEZE: Allows you to "can" a program when you need sleep and go back to the exact spot where you knocked off yesterday. Program, pointers, stack, CPLJ registers and variables are all just where they were.

EASY DOES IT: The best string packer around. Make picture strings for use in your programs, using either pixels, graphics blocks or keyboard characters in any combination. Save screen panels (for instructions, etc.) as though they were programs, work in normal or large character modes, create boxes and circles automatically, etc.

PATCHWORD for tape Scripsit:

Store and load files to wafer (tape was never like this!).

EDTASM patch: Store source and object code to wafer or tape and get a lowercase driver built in.

ESOS (ESF Operating System): Builds directories, loads and stores programs by filename, and contains several utilities commonly available in the various DOSs.

Next month I'll begin a new series, tentatively titled "In the Chips." 80-U.S. wants someone who can talk to beginners at their own level about operating systems, machine code, high and low bits, DE and BC registers without scaring the HL out of them or putting them to sleep. They figured I was just simple enough to pull it off. Some compliment! ■

We have recently been told that Exatron has been most generous in helping Mr. Rheinlander solve the problems noted. —Ed.

Thousands of our controllers have been installed and the user satisfaction has been tremendous. Those who have compared the rest say that ours is the best.

Kit includes controller board, mounting brackets, cables, power supply for 2 internal drives, and illustrated instructions. This controller has been tested for compatibility with most major operating systems including TRSDOS, LDOS, NEWDOS/8O, DOSPLUS, and MULTIDOS. The controller supports any mix of 5%" drives including single or double density, single or double sided, 35, 44, 77 or 80 track drives.

JHD-III Winchesters for TRS 80 Model III ^ £5gJ I

These drives plug into the 50 pin I/O expansion port. System includes host adaptor, cables, fan cooled cabinet. Controller features 11 bit error detection and correction, automatic track remapping and variable sector interleaving. LDOS driver included with system. LDOS Operating System $89.00.

TERMS: Cashier's Check or COD. Personal Checks take 3-4 weeks to clear.

To order call (505) 265-5072 or send order to:

J&M Systems, Ltd.

J&M Systems, Ltd.


TRSDOS is a T rademark of T andy Corporation

LDOS is a Trademark of Logical Systems, Inc

NEWDOS is a Trademark of Apparat, Inc

DOSPLUS is a Trademark of Micro-Systems Software, Inc.

MULT IDOS is a Trademark of Cosmopolitan Electronics Corporation

137 Utah N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87108

Dealer inquiries invited. Call for the name of dealer nearest you.

0 0

Post a comment