Super Utility Plus Special Edition

written by Matthew Reed

Super Utility Special Edition advertisement

PowerSOFT advertisement from the December 1982 issue of <80 Micro

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. In addition to the Super Utility manual, it also came with two books:

  • Inside Super Utility by Paul Wiener
  • The Super Utility Technical Manual by Kim Watt and Pete Carr

The Special Edition differed from the ordinary version in several other ways:

  • Instead of a serial number, the purchaser’s name was embedded in the program.
  • The program disk was not copy protected and both Model I and III versions were included as /CMD files.
  • It included a royalty free (but non-transferrable) license for the purchaser to use Kim Watt’s routines in any programs they wrote.

But perhaps most significantly:

  • It included the complete, fully commented source code to Super Utility Plus itself.

The market for Super Utility Plus Special Edition was obviously very targeted, but I am certain there were many programmers (or potential programmers) who were very interested in the technical information it offered. PowerSOFT defined their potential customers this way:

This is NOT for the general mass market. It is a college education in machine language written by a recognized expert. It IS SU+ in /CMD file form. It is a license to use Kim Watt’s subroutines. It is an opportunity to vastly improve your product. It is a collector’s item, also. Limited. Indeed. Last, but not least, it is expensive. On the surface only, however, as this product will make you an expert programmer if that is what you want. You can literally write a DOS from studying the code! It will make you a member of an elite group that has access to Kim’s knowledge and can USE that knowledge to YOUR benefit.

Categories: Software