Posts in the “Software” Category
Tiny Pascal, also known as “Tiny” Pascal, was a popular programming language for microcomputers. It was created by Kin-Man Chung and Herbert Yuen in 1978 and first described in a three-part series of articles published in BYTE. There were at least four different versions of Tiny Pascal for the TRS‑80, although the version sold by Radio Shack was the most popular.
Tiny Pascal was a subset of the programming language Pascal.
Eliza (catalog number 26-1908), also known as Talking Eliza, was a TRS‑80 Model I and Model III implementation of Dr. Joseph Weizenbaum’s famous ELIZA program. It was introduced by Radio Shack in 1979 for a price of $14.95. Eliza was written by Robert A. Arnstein and was licensed to Radio Shack through his company, Device Oriented Games. One unusual feature of the program was its ability to speak its responses using Radio Shack’s TRS‑80 Voice Synthesizer, hence the name Talking Eliza.
EnhComp was a BASIC compiler written by Philip Oliver for the TRS‑80 Model III and Model 4. (Longtime TRS‑80 users probably remember Philip Oliver for his excellent game Scarfman.) Oliver wrote two versions of EnhComp: the original published by the Cornsoft Group of Indianapolis, Indiana in 1980 and the more popular second version (whose full name was the Enhanced BASIC Compiler Development System) sold by MISOSYS of Sterling, Virginia starting in 1986.
ED-IT for the Model 4 is a very powerful text editor for the TRS‑80 Model 4. It was written by Mark Reed and was first released on June 17, 1991. ED-IT cost $17.95 and was distributed by Computer News 80 of Casper, Wyoming.
There were many capable editors for the Model 4. Most Z80 assembler packages included their own editors (ALEDIT in ALDS and SAID in MRAS were notable examples). The LS‑DOS 6.3 operating system even included a simple text editor named TED/CMD.
The File Cabinet was the largest collection of TRS‑80 public domain and shareware software ever assembled. At its height, it was described as offering “15,000 programs for the Model I/III/4/4P/4D.”
When the TRS‑80 Model I was introduced on August 3, 1977, it came with Level I BASIC, a 4K BASIC interpreter, in ROM. Level I BASIC was created by Steve Leininger, the designer of the TRS‑80, who based it on the public domain “Palo Alto Tiny BASIC” that Dr. Li-Chen Wang wrote in 1976.
But Radio Shack’s plan was always to upgrade to a more advanced Model I BASIC later. The very first TRS‑80 brochure said that “planned expansion includes an extended Radio Shack Level II BASIC.”
Most people considered the Big Five Software games to be the finest games ever written for the TRS‑80 Model I and III. They were sold directly through Big Five and were resold by many other companies.
Radio Shack also sold Big Five games in two collections compiled by Cogito Software. Games Pack Two and Games Pack Three first appeared in the 1984 Radio Shack catalog and contained four Big Five games: Defense Command, Stellar Escort, Cosmic Fighter and Meteor Mission 2.
PRO-WAM (also known as PRO-NTO) is a collection of pop-up tools for LS‑DOS/TRSDOS 6 on the TRS‑80 Model 4. It was written by Karl Hessinger and Roy Soltoff and cost $59.95 when it was introduced in December 1984.
PRO-WAM was one of the few programs to require a Model 4 expanded to a full 128K of memory. In my opinion, it was one of the best uses of the extra memory and one of my favorite Model 4 utilities.
AIDS-III, also known as MTC AIDS-III, was a very popular database system for the TRS‑80 Model I, III, and II. Its unfortunate name (in retrospect) stood for Automated Information Directory System. AIDS-III was a highly regarded program and final member of the family of AIDS products.
Robert Fiorelli, the primary author of AIDS-III, described it not as a “database management system” but as a “data-management system”:
AIDS-III is a data-management system.
Microsoft Multiplan was an early spreadsheet program and the first piece of application software from Microsoft to target end users. It was introduced in 1982 with versions for CP/M, MS-DOS, and the Apple II. Versions for many other computers, including various TRS‑80 models, soon followed. Multiplan was the first (and for a while the only) third-party software package available when the Apple Macintosh was introduced in 1984.