: ann
 AdamCon 13  AdamCon 12  AdamCon 11  AdamCon 10  Adam News Network Archive

Adam News Network volume 89 issue 12

Supporting the Coleco Adam since 1992. Founder Barry Wilson.

Return to | Adam News Index | Volume 89

In this issue:

Article: ac01-1

ADAMCON 01October 7 - 11, 1989Sponsored by MOAUGADAMCON 01 was an absolute success!!! The fine work by Monte Neese and MOAUG made for a wonderful convention. So much information was presented that it could be months before all of it is understood. Some of the people we expected to see were unable to attend; Sol Swift was with us in spirit only, Big John Lingrel was also unable to be there. BUT, there was no lack of ADAM experts, Tony Morhan, Ron Collins, Tony Patterson, and others too numerous to mention. Many old freindships were strenghtened, many new friendships were made. All who attended will not forget the feeling of camaraderie. The ADAM wars were, for the most part, forgotten. The true spirit of sharing that marked the early days of the personal computer was clearly evident. There was something for every ADAM owner. Advanced ideas for the experts, and basic information for the novice. It was interesting to see a 16 year old ADAMite talking to a 60 year old. Both talked the same language, ADAM, and each was able to learn from the other. Following is an overview of the events at ADAMCON 01. It may not give you the true feeling of excitement of being there but will pass along some of the information presented.ADAMCON 01Saturday, October 7, 1989The meeting room was decorated with blue and white balloons tied to chairs and set up in an arch over the front table and podium. An ADAM was set up with three moniters displaying a welcome. Two original ADAM boxes were behind the speaker.ADAMCON 01 Chairman, Monte Neese introduced John Terry, President of MOAUG. John opened with a definition of the word 'obsolete' and why our ADAM did not fit this definition. The main reason is "It works!!" The ADAM keeps on working for three primary reasons: 1. ADAM is a good computer. 2. There is good 3rd party support. 3. Hardware developers keep making more periphials to make ADAM more useful. The spirit the keeps ADAM from becoming obsolete is "We believe in ADAM!!"Jay Foreman, President of MW Ruth, then made the opening remarks. The news flash he started out with was the Hewlett-Packard wrote the operating system for the ADAM. They wanted to beak IBM to the small computer market without using their name, which was associated with mainframes. Jay presented an overview of the history of the ADAM. The machines that were rushed into stores (95,000 of the 500,000 that were promised) were not ready. 90% of these were not working properly. This was in 1983. By the time in 1984 when the bugs were worked out, Coleco had problems too numerous to overcome. They took advice from the wrong people, had problems with the banks, and did not allow hardware add-ons to surface. Some of the early newsletters began to surface. Expandable Computer News only lasted 3 issues. Alan Gerson started AUGment. Jay started the #1 Sprite Chaser. By early 1985, Coleco was passing the warranty cards recieved from ADAM owners to AUGment and #1 Sprite Chaser. Jay compiled a list of 40,000 ADAM owners. Coleco never had a list of owners!Jay determined the Coleco produced 1,000,000 parts worth of ADAMs, and assembled 250,000 complete. With some ADAMs sold as parts and assembled by the owner, Jay estimated that there are 250,000 to 500,000 complete ADAMs in existence. In 1985 Coleco had a speech synthesizer developed, but it was too late to market by that time. Then in January of 1985, Coleco dropped our ADAM. Jay felt that the future of ADAM would be in compatibility with MS-DOS.A reception followed, with people looking at name tags to see if it was someone they knew thru a BBS, correspondence, or by telephone.A busy first day and it was only for a few hours in the evening. Dean Roades 463 ADAM began to surface. Expandable Computer News only l

Return to index

Article: ac01-2

ADAMCON 01 Sunday, October 8, 1989After a fine breakfast, Monte introduced Faye Deere. Faye informed us that the Computer Shopper had been sold and the offices moved to New York. The bad part is that they are dropping the ADAM columns!! The columns that Faye has already submitted will be run (expected to last thru January). A number of people stated that that would be the last issue they would accept before they cancelled their subscriptions. The morning general session was on ADAM basics and upgrades. Phil Kosowski displayed the different parts of the ADAM and explained their functions. Phil also told us of the names Coleco used: Delta is the stand-alone ADAM, Gamma is the Colecovision add-on. He also said that the center slot inside the unit was originally intended for a language board so that ADAM could be used in other countries.Tony Morhen then talked about hardware upgrades. Coleco had planned to release 2 external Digital Data Drives, (Wow! 2 more ways to go slow!), an 80 column display, and a 10 meg hard drive. Of course 3rd party developers beat them to the punch with parallel and serial interfaces for dot matrix printers, modems, etc. Then came to memory expanders. 64k was considered a big item in the early days. Then 256k, 512k and the current 1 meg memory expanders. Disk drives from Coleco were only single sided 160k drives. Our 3rd party developers came up with 320k, 360k conversions, then 720k 3-1/2" drives! The latest is 1.44 meg 3-1/2" drives and a way to drive two disks from the same controller board. We also have Hard drive interfaces.Tony talked about how to decide what hardware add-ons would be best for you. If you use ADAM for: Best add-on would be:Data Base work Hard drive or memory expanderPrinting (Text or graphics) Dot matrix printerWord Processing 80 column displayTelecommunications 80 column displayTony felt that ADAM compatibility to MS-DOS was not the way to go.WorkshopsAt this time we broke out into smaller groups to attend the three workshops. Each group would spend about 1/2 hour in each.A. CP/M Basics - John Vilillo + Ron CollinsJohn presented some basic information about CP/M. Digital Research wrote CP/M in 1975. It is the forerunner to MS-DOS. Some terms: TPA = Transient Program Area, CP/M = Control Program / Moniter. He talked about the limited TPA in CP/M and how TDOS (a new version, I think) will overcome some of these restrictions. John had a couple of sheets of paper and said the this was all the important information from the manual, which was very wordy. John and Ron reviewed many of the Control and transient commands.B. Developing New Hardware - Mark GordonMark went thru some of the steps required when developing new hardware and for that matter, software. Questions that should be asked up front include; Is there a real need?, How many can be sold?, Can you recover the development cost?. A crucial thing to remember is that we are in a home market, not a business market. People have less money to spend on hardware additions. Mark used the Powermate 2 he developed as an example. After deciding to go ahead with a project, more questions present themselves. What parts are available on the market that could be used? Is it better to use a shelf part or custom design one? A simple example is the enclosure for the Powermate. Custom designing one would have added cost in the form of design, minimum runs, lead time. An off the shelf enclosure, while it may not be exactly what you need, could be purchased as needed, keeping development costs lower. A hardware project is useless unless software is available. If you are not able to write the software yourself, it's another cost to have it done.Mark wrapped it up with a short demo of the Powermate. A more complete demo would be available in the afternoon.C. Telecommunications - Alan Neeley + Terry CairnsAlan and Terry talked about using a modem to log-onto a Bulletin Board System (BBS). Alan owns the copyright to the A-Net BBS software used by 8 ADAM BBS's. Terry stated that many BBS's are going as high as 2400 baud and that 300 baud may become outdated. Coleco put out modem software which has since been greatly improved.ADAMlinkI Ability to log-on to BBSADAMlinkII Adds the ability to download ASCII files.ADAMlinkIII Adds X-Modem which works with CP/M.ADAMlinkIII+ Adds more optionsThe afternoon general session was a discussion of ADAMCalc by Ed Snow. Ed is a new ADAMite and has worked with spreadsheet programs on many computers. He rated ADAMCalc very high compared with other packages. One thing that is common to most spreadsheet programs is poor documentation. Ed reviewed the steps to prepare a spreadsheet: 1. Define the purpose. 2. Define procedures. 3. Layout the spreadsheet. 4. Code spreadsheet. 5. Test procedures with small numbers. 6. Use the spreadsheet.The ability to name cells in ADAMCalc and use those names in formulas is a big plus. Another tip is that the controller joystick will move the cursor faster than the arrow keys.The afternoon was wrapped up with a number of product demonstrations.Syd Carter wowed the crowd with the unveiling of a sound digitizer for the ADAM. This unit inserts into the cart slot on top of the CPU. It will capture sound from any source and store it. You can then playback this sound without the hardware. This will allow the use of sounds in programs. Included with the digitizer is a clock/calender. The built in 10 year battery eliminates the need for resetting the clock. After running a short program, this will add the current date when saving programs. The date can be read with some file utilities.Jim Walters and his twin brother Bruce demo'ed their cart version of SMARTDSK. A pull of the cart reset presents you with a full range of utilities that support all sizes of memories and disk drives. They also showed LABELWORKS and the new game VASE OF TURR. Mark Gordon Showed off his POWERMATE2. This is a nice stand-alone hard disk drive with interface. The interface fits in the center slot and includes 2 serial ports and 1 parallel port. The hard drive cabinet has it's own power supply and can house two drives, either hard or floppy. The POWERMATE4 can house 4 drives. The drives can be 10, 20 or 30 meg hard drives, or 360k 5 1/4", 720k 5 1/4", or 720k 3 1/2" floppy drive.Other demo's included The BBS that Alan Neeley set up. The news about the sound digitizer was out on the A-Net BBS within minutes of it's introduction. This shows the speed that we can get information out. Terry Cairns was showing some of the games he is adding to his BBS. These games are to be played on-line. Also during this time, Ed Snow was giving more info on ADMCalc.Monte Neese wrapped up the day with a few announcments. The ADAMCON 01 T-shirts were selling like hot cakes. Of the original 50 shirts, only 3 were unsold at 4:30. The E+T special on MegaRAM Expander Card ($115.00) would remain on special price thru the end of the year. M.W. Ruth will honor orders on the special AC01 form at 30% off until October 31st. After most of us went our seperate ways, the hardware developers all sat down together. In light of the ADAM wars of late, it was very encouraging to see them talking. They met for quite some time and all walked away under their own power, so hopefully the wars are over. Dean Roades 463 ADAMAlan Neeley set up. The news about the sound digitizer was out on the A-Net BBS wit

Return to index

Article: ac01-3

ADAMCON 01Monday, October 9, 1989The morning session concerned how to start and maintain a User Group. On the panel: 1. Howard Pines - ECAUG 2. Terry Cairns - MTAG 3. Jim Notini - NIAD 4. David Colby - VISAThis was one of the livelyest sessions. The information presented will be in a seperate write-up.The workshops this morning presented more great information.PowerPAINT - Pat Herrington + Tony PattersonMany tips and tricks were presented. To erase more quickly use the INSERT option and space over the areas you wish to erase. If you want to change the color of a large area, MOVE/COPY will allow you to set the frame around an area. Then use CTR-D or CTR-U to move this frame to to next lower (D) or higher (U) frame, change the color, then move it back. A good way to see exactly what your picture will look like printed is to change the background to grey and foreground to black. Reedy software is about to release a new package called POWERTOOLS. It will work with POWERPaint and add many features.ADVANCED CP/M - Ron Collins + John VilliloRon demonstrated the terrific capabilities of CP/M in printing signs. The sign cannot be viewed on-screen, but the resolution in printing is fantastic. They mentioned a word processing program in the public domain, VDE266. UTILITIES - Jim + Bruce WaltersThe Walters used their SMARTDSK in showing how to easily purge a disk of deleted files. Loading the entire disk into ram (assuming your ram is large enough) they purged the ram. Since there are no moving parts, this was done very quickly. Then the entire ram was transferred back to the disk. They also discussed RAMBOOT and FORMATTER IIWrapping up the day Monte encouraged everyone to wear their ADAM T-shirts to Church Street Station Tuesday night.With the afternoon off, many people took advantage of the attractions in the area, Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, or the water park accross the street from the hotel, Wet 'n Wild. Dean Roades 463 ADAMOWER

Return to index

Article: ac01-4

ADAMCON 01Tuesday, October 10, 1989Monte opened day 4 with a number of announcements. 1. Door prizes will be awarded during the day instead of at the dinner tonight. 2. Dale Wick of MTAG is distributing a survey. All are asked to have their groups fill out and return to MTAG. 3. A bus will go to Church Street Station, leaving at 6:15.The morning general session discussed where ADAM is going in the 90's and beyond. On the panel: 1. Jim Notini - NIAD 2. Dave Snowden - LAUGH 3. Jay Forman - M.W. Ruth 4. Faye Deere - ECAUG 5. Pat Herrington - MOAUGAs with Monday's discussion on User groups the information was so extensive that it will be the subject of a seperate write-up. I can mention at this time that part of the discussion was the location of ADAMCON02. Toronto was selected, partly due to the large contingent of ADAMites from Canada.The long awaited door prize drawing was then held. Compuserve $15.00 credits and ADAMZAP 'Buy one get one free' certificates were handed out to everyone. Attached is a list of all the prizes handed out. At lunch, Chris Braymen demonstrate his MIDI interface for the ADAM. This allows you to create music (using Videotunes for example) and play the music thru an external synthesizer or musical keyboard. This opens up more new worlds for ADAM.The afternoon product demo's started off with Tony Patterson and GODOS. GOBASIC defaults at this time and many demo's are on a seperate disk. The capabilities of this powerful operating system are fantastic! We can only hope that release of GODOS is very soon.Other demo's: Walters Software - SMARTDSK cart, LABELWORKS and VASE OF TURR. Syd Carter - Sound Digitizer and clock/calender. Eric Danz - ADAMZAP game. Ron Collins - Hard drive interface. Alan Neeley - A-Net BBS Tony Patterson + Ron Collins - GODOS and Temple of the Snow Dragon. Phil Kosowsky - ADAM Repair The final event of the afternoon was the ADAM STORE!! Many people brought used hardware and software and there were several ADAM vendors selling their wares. Imagine!! Buying ADAM products 'off the shelf'. It was a new experience for most. There were many great deals.The convention was wrapped up at Church Street Station in downtown Orlando. The dinner was excellent and all had compliments for Monte and MOAUG for the wonderful job they did.SEE YOU ALL IN TORONTO NEXT YEAR!!! Dean Roades 463 ADAMre on a seperate disk. The capabilities of this powe

Return to index

Article: ac01misc

ADAMCON 01October 7 - 11, 1989Orlando, FloridaRamdom thoughts from ADAMCON 01:Did you know that COLECO stands for COnneticut LEather COmpany?During the off hours of the convention the best place to find ADAMites was not at the pool but at the ADAMs that were left set up. Sometimes till 4:00 AM.Some of the User Groups have very interesting names - MOAUG Metro Orlando ADAM User Group MTAG Metro Toronto ADAM User Group ECAUG Emerald Coast ADAM User Group ALU ADAM Link of Utah LAUGH Loyal ADAM Users of the Golden Horseshoe VISA Vancouver and the Islands Senior ADAM AUFG ADAM User-Friendly Group IEAUG Inland Empire ADAM User GroupNeil Wick brought postcards he designed depicting an ADAMite sitting at his ADAM with ADAMCON 01 on the screen. These sold for $.25 ea. and Neil donated 50 special editions signed by him for door prizes.A special thanks to Alan Neeley of ALU. He was my roommate for ADAMCON 01 and I now count him as one of my best freinds. He was always willing to talke the time to explain things to a novice. I find it remarkable that he runs his business and BBS out of his home and is 'Mr. Mom' also, raising his young son. Thanks Alan, ADAMCON 01 would not have been the same without you. Dean Roades 463 ADAMroups have very interesting names - MOAUG Metro Orlan

Return to index

Article: ac01shrt

Send feedback to Dale Wick (