Monthly Archives: December 2014

Software Arts, Inc. Press Releases

Scanned and posted a collection of press releases from Software Arts, Inc.

The Apple II’s “killer app”, VisiCalc was first published by Personal Software, Inc. The company later split into two semi-independent entities: VisiCorp, dedicated to publishing and marketing the world’s first electronic spreadsheet; and Software Arts, which was responsible for design and development.

The relationship between the two companies soon became contentious and eventually the former partners turned on each other, seeking to settle their differences in court.  VisiCorp complained that the products they were receiving from SA were late, buggy and defective.  SA countered that the software worked as advertised and that VisiCorp wasn’t living up to its end of the contract, failing to properly market VisiCalc and its supporting family of applications.

VisiCorp announced that it was revoking Software Arts’ license to develop VisiCalc; SA responded by announcing it would be developing and marketing new versions of the spreadsheet, independent of VisiCorp and that it had no intention to stop using the VisiCalc logos and titles.

The ugly legal battle cost both companies dearly, and the distraction contributed to VisiCalc’s rapidly eroding market share in its battle against the new IBM PC-based industry darling, Lotus 1-2-3.  Both companies eventually declared bankruptcy and were sold off to other concerns.

None of that history is included in these press releases, some of which have little to do with the Apple II (Spotlight for the PC, for example), but what’s here still provides an interesting glimpse into the history of a company whose product was key to Apple’s efforts to shift the perception that they were just a bunch of long-haired electronics hobbyists, to a serious computer company with real value to corporate America.

Visit our new Press Releases page to download the PDF.  It’s a little sparse there now, but I’ve got some neat Apple Computer Press Releases to add soon, and I’m always looking for donations and loans.

Press Releases

Click the image to visit the new Press Releases page.

II Computing: For Apple II Users

II Computing was published bimonthly from Oct/Nov 1985 to Feb/Mar 1987, for a total of nine issues. Each magazine had its own theme (Science, Education, etc) and came in at a hefty full-color 100 or so pages.  Two interviews with Steve Wozniak were printed during the short run, including one conducted shortly after the Apple co-founder had struck out on his own to form Cloud 9 – a company dedicated to perfecting the universal remote control.  It is interesting to see how Woz’s perspectives have shifted since then.  An interview with Apple executive Del Yocam appeared in the Education issue.

Like most of the other Apple II magazines from the period, each issue of II Computing featured a number of BASIC and assembly language programs that could be entered by hand and, because Cauzin was an early advertiser, many of the listings were also printed as “Softstrips”.

Whether due to the fact that the magazine was published by a company known for its affections for Atari computers, or that it appeared rather late in the life of the Apple 8-bit line, II Computing never attained the level of popularity of many of its contemporary publications.  Up til now, not much information has been available about this magazine on the internet.

Thanks to a generous donation from Kevin Savetz, who also secured Antic’s permission to post these volumes, the entire 9-issue run has been scanned and is now available for download.  You’re the bee’s knees, Kevin!

II Computing: For Apple II Users

II Computing: For Apple II Users

Locksmith User Manual & Reference Card (Unknown Version)

Scanned and posted the user manual and reference card for an unknown version of Locksmith. Download the PDFs here:

Locksmith User Manual

User Manual

Locksmith Reference Card

Reference Card

Or visit the Locksmith Documentation page here.

This is the User Manual and Reference Card for an unknown version of Locksmith.  Neither the manual nor card make any mention of which version this is for, but the card bears a copyright date of 1980 and the company’s original name, Omega Software Products.  Omega changed its name soon after creation, to Omega MicroWare and this is what is printed in the manual, along with a 1981 copyright.

Another indicator of era is the system requirements printed in the manual: 48K Apple II or II Plus – well into the life of the II line, but before 64K machines were common and predating the IIe.