Posts in the “Software” Category - page 2
In the early days of microcomputers, many considered learning Pascal to be the logical next step for beginning programmers after learning BASIC. Alcor Pascal, sold by Alcor Systems of Garland, Texas, was a “complete Jensen and Wirth Standard Pascal” and a popular choice for TRS‑80 users who wanted to expand their programming horizons.
In addition to the TRS‑80 versions (which cost $199.
Pascal 80 was a Pascal development system for the TRS‑80 Model I, III, and 4. It was written by Phelps Gates, also the author of APL-80, an APL compiler for the TRS‑80.
The Pascal 80 package consisted of a full-screen text editor, monitor, and compiler. Pascal source code could be compiled directly to memory or to disk. Editing and compiling Pascal source code in memory made programming Pascal similar to using interpreted languages, such as BASIC.
Zorlof the Magnificent was a powerful word processor for the TRS‑80 Model I and III. It was written by Peter Ray and sold by Anitek Software Products of Melbourne, Florida. Released in 1982 for a price of $69.95, Zorlof was often described as a “second-generation word processor,” one generation beyond Electric Pencil and Scripsit.
Zorlof was a full-screen word processor that supported lowercase on the Model I.
MULTIDOS was one of the major TRS‑80 operating systems, described in advertisements as “the most compatible, user friendly operating system on the market.” It was written by Vernon Hester, the author of ULTRADOS, and was in some ways a continuation of that operating system. MULTIDOS was the least expensive TRS‑80 operating system and also the one with the most recent update (MULTIDOS 5.1 in 2005).
M-ZAL was a powerful disk-based editor assembler system for the TRS‑80 Model I and III. First introduced in 1981, M-ZAL (which stood for Modular Z80 Assembly Language) was written by Jeffrey Krantz and David Willen. It was sold by Computer Applications Unlimited (also known as CUA) for the price of $149.95.
Although expensive, M‑ZAL was one of the most advanced assemblers ever written for the TRS‑80 and it was used by many professional TRS‑80 developers.
Level III BASIC was an enhanced version of Level II BASIC for the TRS‑80 Model I. It was created by Microsoft, also the authors of Level II BASIC, but sold by GRT Corporation on cassette for $49.95. Level III BASIC was said to be the first consumer product from Microsoft, which had previously sold only to manufacturers.
Rather than sell Level III BASIC directly to consumers, Microsoft decided to release it through GRT Corporation in 1978.
PC-Four was the first TRS‑80 Model 4 emulator for IBM PC compatible computers. It was written by Michael Gingell and introduced by Hypersoft in mid-1987 for a price of $79.95. PC-Four required a computer with at least 384K of memory and worked on both floppy and hard drive systems.
PC-Four (sometimes referred to as PC4) was quite different than later TRS‑80 emulators. It achieved most of its compatibility not through Model 4 hardware emulation but by emulating the Model 4 operating system.
In late 1982, PowerSOFT began advertising the “Super Utility Plus Special Edition.” The package, sometimes referred to as “Super Utility Plus S/E,” was a premium limited-edition version of Super Utility. Only 500 packages were produced and each cost $500.00, including shipping. PowerSOFT took reservations for several months and began shipping on January 20, 1983.
Each Special Edition was numbered (1 to 500) and each was personally signed by Kim Watt.
I suspect that almost everyone who used a TRS‑80 disk system remembers Super Utility. First released by Kim Watt in 1980 through his company Breeze Computing, Super Utility was regarded by many to be an indispensible tool. It was described in advertisements as “The King of Utilities” and readers of 80 Micro must have agreed; they voted it 1st Place in the utility category for both the 1982 and 1983 Readers’ Choice Awards.
The CHROMAtrs was a TRS‑80 Model I and III add-on that could display color text and graphics on a separate monitor or television. The CHROMAtrs had advanced graphics and sound features, but using those features required low-level programming that was beyond the abilities of many people. That all changed with the introduction of CHROMA BASIC.
CHROMA BASIC was written by Robert French, who was 14 years old at the time.