Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 6.0 2011 LogiCall




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Published on Jan 8, 2012

This is a glance at the LogiCall operating system as part of the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest Version 6.0 and Emergency Chicagoland Commodore Convention held on Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Lombard, IL.

A Timex Sinclair 2068 Computer running LogiCall. LogiCall is an Operating System (written in Cambridge BASIC) that provides disk management and program selection from the disk catalog/directory. The program is written by Bob Swoger of --==GATOR==-- Software Development.

Vintage Computer Festival: http://www.vintage.org/
Vintage Computer Festival Midwest: http://vcfmw.org/
Chicago Classic Computing: http://chiclassiccomp.org/
Southwest Regional Association of Programmers (SWRAP): http://swrap.org/
Suburban Chicago ATarians (SCAT): http://scatarians.org/
Glenside Color Computer Club Inc.: http://www.glensideccc.com/


History (by: Bob Swoger):

Back in the early 80's, a Hoffman Estates based firm, Microsystems Engineering Corporation, won a bid to provide NASA with a computer automated testing package using Fluke test equipment. When the project was finished, they turned to making an integrated software package for the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11 mini computer series used by big business. Argonne and Sandia National Labs, Dow Chemical, Coopers & Lybrand, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust, Shell Oil, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, Dupont, Edwards AFB, and Motorola Research were some of the many worldwide users. Their user groups, Beta testers, and steering committees looked like a Who's Who of Fortune 500 companies. MEC's product was called MASS-11. The MASS part stands for Management Administration System Software, and the 11 part stands for the computer series it ran on. MASS-11 contained a word processor, spreadsheet, database, drawing application, and modem package, along with a disk management system. Any data created could be seamlessly moved from one application to another. Later, MASS-11 was made to run on the DEC Rainbow desktop computer. When the IBM XT, AT, and DEC VAX entered the computing arena, MASS-11 was transformed to run on those machines keystroke for keystroke, a great selling feature. Remember, hard drives back then were only 10 megabytes! MASS-11 was menu driven, requiring only 3 keystrokes to launch and manipulate any application. Microsystems Engineering and MASS-11 still exist to this day, but both owners, Hank and Everett Karels, have passed.

Hank Karels lived two doors from me. My wife went to work for MEC, so I became familiar with the MASS-11 product. It was the high-level human interface that interested me. Having at that time a $99 ZX81 computer, I felt that if MASS-11 could call their applications using three keystrokes, I could do it on a microcomputer using only one keystroke. LogiCall was born. In 1984 LogiCall moved from the ZX81 to the TS2058 and Spectrum computers, both being Sinclair machines. Using the LarKen Disk Interface, LogiCall could run on either machine, even though they didn't use the same ROMs. LogiCall could tell which machine it was on and switch systems on the fly. I sold it in the continental US and Canada. In 1995 I released LogiCall to two vendors, Frank Davis in Mexico, Indiana and Rod Gowen in Oregon City, Oregon. Now John Mark Mobley and I have migrated LogiCall to the CoCo. [Chris Hawks jumped in from time to time when we hit a brick wall.]


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