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3 CHEERS FOR `OLD’ TECHNOLOGY
USERS SAY KAYPROS MAY BE SLOW, BUT THEY DO THE JOB

SHARE 3 CHEERS FOR `OLD’ TECHNOLOGY
USERS SAY KAYPROS MAY BE SLOW, BUT THEY DO THE JOB

Dear Judi and Frank, I'm one of the many computer enthusiasts who remained behind when the great rush of high technology swept you into the IBM compatible zone. Locally there are some 25 to 100 CP/M users content with the utility derived from KayPro portable computers.

To fight hardware obsolescence and maintain our KayPros, we bought the still operable units of those who changed to MS DOS IBM compatibles. Many in our users group bought used KayPros for $100 to $300 and are using them for word processing, resumes, small business accounting, tax preparation and more. They entered the world of personal computing at ten cents on the dollar.The great field of public domain software plus old Perfect Writer, Perfect Calc and Perfect Filer, along with the availability of Wordstar Version 4 for CP/M, keeps us going.

Our 64K of RAM sounds puny, but we can add 1000K more with an addon board. Our machines are slow, but they get us where we want to go.

All of which is apropos of nothing, I suppose, except to remind folks of their roots, where it all started, a simpler and gentler beginning. Long live CP/M! Content in Columbus, OH

Dear Happy, You'll get no argument from us! But we'll explain some history for readers not old enough at computing to remember CP/M or KayPro.

The KayPro was one of the first early, nearly portable computers, and one of the cheapest. KayPro grew so quickly that for a year they stored inventory in a rented circus tent. The father-son team who started it were forced into retirement by execs with white shirts and MBA degrees, but the KayPro computer and company survived!

Dear Frank and Judi, Here's something to pass on to readers. After searching for weeks for a way to transfer my Apple II files to a Mac, I found it in my Macintosh manuals.

Mac utilities include the Apple File Exchange (AFE). It reads ProDOS (Apple II) and MS DOS (IBM compatible) files. The manual isn't as specific as it should be. You begin by printing the ProDOS file to a 3.5-inch disk as a text file (ASCII). Then Mac reads the disk via AFE.

I found out the hard way that it doesn't transfer a large data base file in its entirety, but only the part that "prints" to the text file. I then must go back to the ProDOS file, print out the missing parts and go through the AFE to patch them into the first transfer.

Manasquan Park, NJ, tinkerer

Dear Tink, Thanks for the tip. The moral here for all readers is: Even if all else doesn't fail, read your manuals!

Dear Judi and Frank, Don't be such snobs in your choice of computer manufacturers! You disappoint some of your readers when you concentrate on just IBM, Apple and now NeXT while ignoring Commodore Amiga and Digital.

For instance, recently you mentioned multitasking coming for OS/2. Amiga users have had true multitasking for well over two years. You always talk about the academic market for Apple and IBM and mention how NeXT selected that market. You forget that academe is probably Digital's most vital user base.

From what I see, Microsoft Windows tries to provide IBMers with the user friendly icon-based shell Commodore 64 users had for years with GEOS, and GEOS did more with less than Microsoft has done so far.

Yes, the DOS-OS/2-Apple world is far bigger than DEC or Commodore, and I admit I'm using my NEC MS DOS laptop to write this. But a million-plus C-64 users are nothing to sneeze at. Even with current low prices on IBM clones, small business users can get all they need on a C-64 at far less cost - and with better games available for playing during slow times.

Populist in Pennsylvania

Dear Pop, We wish that software for the budget-saving Commodore had kept pace with Macintosh and IBM compatible programs. But in our opinion it has not. That's the reason that keeps us from pushing Commodore stuff except in game columns.

As far as the Amiga computer goes, we agree with you that it's an advanced machine, especially in the graphics areas. We've tried and tried to get their attention, but they've just never respond. Maybe they're snobs.

Dear Frank and Judi, I want to move files from my old Leading Edge Model D, with 5.25inch disks, to my PS/2 Model 30, which has 3.5-inch disks. The Leading Edge people tell me I can't buy a 3.5-inch drive for it, and I really don't have any need for a 5.25-inch drive for the IBM unless I don't have a cheaper choice. Do I? Columbia, SC, Reader

Dear Columbian, Sure. We like File Shuttle, a slick program plus small cable connector that lets you use send files or whole directories of files or whole disks quickly from computer to computer.

It comes with two disks, a 5.25 and a 3.5-incher. You simply copy the FS program onto both computers (or work from floppy drives), hook their printer ports together with the cable and special connector, let FS know what files to send, and it does the rest. It costs $119.95 and is available from Get C Software of Blaine, WA. The phone number is 800-662-8066.

(C)1989 P/K Associates Inc., 4343 W Beltline Hwy, Madison WI 53711.