April New Products

written by Matthew Reed

The “New Products” section in the TRS-80 magazine 80 Microcomputing was a listing of new product releases, described this way:

The New Products section is intended to inform our readers of new products on the market. All information in the section is taken from product releases sent by manufacturers.

But starting in 1982, every April issue included several gag products mixed in with the usual announcements. Here are just a few of those “April Fool’s” new products.

From “New Products” in the April 1982 issue of 80 Microcomputing:

Granny’s Old Fashioned Word Processing System

Granny’s Old-Fashioned Word Processing system instantly turns your TRS-80 into an ordinary typewriter. The package, for the writer who wants to go electronic but doesn’t want to give up old ways, includes no editing capabilities; the user must print all copy and edit it by hand. GROLFWORP also permits no permanent files; the user must produce a printout or lose whatever he’s typed.

Other features include: no delete, no scrolling, no justification, no insertion capabilities, no bold or underscore functions, and tabs that work only occasionally. Special I/O routines randomly jam the paper in the printer, smudge the pages, and print lines one on top of the other.

Granny’s Old-Fashioned Word Processing System costs $1495, and is available from Granny, Little White Cottage Lane, Picket Fence, NH 03458.

From “New Products” in the April 1983 issue of 80 Micro:

Nobody Does It Better

A unique 7-bit CPU and the SPECTRE 2.0 operating system are highlights of the Model 007, a new British micro aimed at the professional and (secret) service markets.

Available in 48K, 64K, or Walther PPK configurations, the Model 007 accepts commands only from the Mode M control peripheral. A powerful feature of the SPECTRE DOS, Thunderboot, loads programs at remarkable speed. Programs for your use only cannot be backed up; for others, such as the Moneypenny accounting and general ledger package, you can only load twice. Files on disk cannot be deleted without a license to kill, and can be recovered even then with the List and Let Die option.

In previous assignments, the Model 007 has helped a scientist experimenting with rare materials for disk storage (“The Man With the Golden Grans”) and successfully corrected flawed Soviet programs (“From Russia With Bugs”). It it available with options including hard disk, printer, rocket launcher, and undersea-use kit from Q Branch, Universal Export, Regents Park, London, England.

From “New Products” in the April 1984 issue of 80 Micro (for those unfamiliar with the real Model 16B, it was a very heavy workstation):

The Model 16BP

Radio Shack, encouraged by the success of the Model 4P, has introduced a transportable version of its multi-user office system. The Model 16BP features a base unit and two DT-1 data terminals, all with 9-inch screens and detachable keyboard. Now three traveling workstations can share the same TRS-Xenix files.

The Model 16BP is built around the same 256K, hard-disk-equipped Model 16B as Tandy’s desktop network. Both have the same base unit (expandable to 768K RAM) and terminals have high-impact plastic cases and built-in carrying handles; 15 feet of non-detachable cord joins each terminal to the base.

The ideal system for today’s teams of traveling executives, the Model 16BP costs $7995 at Radio Shack Computer Centers.

From “New Products” in the April 1985 issue of 80 Micro:

Crayola Plotter

The Crayola Plotter represents Crayola’s entry into high technology. Using sophisticated, wax-based pens, the Crayola Plotter offers, the company says, “an optimum price-performance ratio.” The pens, available in any toy store, are simple to use: You just peel off the paper and stick them in Snoopy’s paws. Your software and Snoopy do the rest.

Snoopy is made of highly durable plastic. LED’s in his eyes report on the plotter’s status. The company says Grandpa Smurf and Michael Jackson will be available by summer.

For more information, consult your local Crayola dealer.

Categories: Magazines