• Tag Archives apple
  • S.A.M. (Atari 400/800, Apple II/II+)


    Source: inCider – March 1983

    Speech synthesis seemed to be all the rage in the early to mid 1980s. S.A.M. is one of a variety of speech synthesis products available during that time. S.A.M. is short for Software Automatic Mouth (I can see why they abbreviated it) and was available for the Atari 400/800 and Apple II/II+. This was a product primarily designed to incorporate speech into your own programs.

    Advertised as “cheap”, I suppose that’s a matter of opinion. The Atari version was priced fairly typically for the time at $49.95. However, the Apple II version required additional hardware and cost $124.95. Not really cheap in my opinion, especially for the time. The Atari sound chip was sophisticated enough not to require additional hardware for speech synthesis of acceptable quality at the time. Despite the limitations (iffy speech quality and having to blank the screen for maximum quality among others), these products were fairly popular and S.A.M. was one of the better known products of its type.

    The whole talking computer thing never really appealed to me that much (though we have it now more or less with products like Alexa). I guess after the movie Wargames, everyone wanted a talking computer…or something.

    This ad is from the March 1983 issue of inCider.

  • Computist (March 1987)


    Source: Computist – Issue Number 41 – March 1987

    Computist (later Hardcore Computist) was a long running magazine for the Apple II line of computers. It was technically oriented and much of its coverage involved how to remove copy protection from commercial disks. The March 1987 issue includes:


    • The Periodic Table
    • Gemstone Warrior
    • Inferno
    • Frogger


    • A two drive patch for Winter Games – Are you tired of always flipping the disk over with Winter Games? This article tells you how to beat Epyx at their own game.
    • Customizing the speed of a Duodisk – This is an expansion of William Wingfield Jr.’s article which shows you how to easily and accurately adjust the speed of your duodisk.
    • Roll the presses part two: Printshop Printer Drivers – Do you have a printer not supported by Printshop? Or, maybe you just want to know more about the inner workings of this program. If so, this article is for you.


    • The games of 1986 in review – This month, we look at the first half of the adventure games of 1986.


    • Input
    • Readers’ Softkey & Copy Exchange
      • Scholastic’s Story Maker
      • Codewriter’s Adventure Writer
      • Highlands’ Mummy’s Curse
      • Datasoft’s Zaxxon
      • The Quest
      • Activision’s Pitfall II and H.E.R.O.

    …and more!

  • Computer Warehouse (1985)


    Source: Commodore Power Play – December 1984/January 1985

    Sure, there wasn’t an internet to speak of in 1985 but there were still plenty of places like today’s Newegg to order your computer stuff from. You just had to pick up a phone and call.

    The above ad is from the December 1984/January 1985 issue of Commodore Power/Play and is for one of many such places in the 1980s called Computer Warehouse. A Commodore 64 and disk drive would cost you over $400 then (and really, what other kind of computer would you want?) but prices would fall quickly over the next couple of years.