Sunday, 13 April 2014

1976, Science & Technology: “Electric Pencil”

In December 1976 the first word processor for home computers, "Electric Pencil", is released by Michael Shrayer. The original version was created for the MITS Altair 8800 in December 1976.

The TRS‑80 (Tandy/Radio Shack, Z-80 microprocessor) version was released almost two years later and it dominated the market until the introduction of "Scripsit" by Tandy/Radio Shack in 1978.

Michael Shrayer
Michael Shrayer purchased an MITS Altair 8800 computer kit in 1975. He expanded the Altair with a paper punch, video display, and keyboard and began writing machine language programs. What became known as "Electric Pencil" started as an improvement to an editor assembler package called "Software Package 1" or "SP-1". Shrayer decided he didn’t want to use a typewriter to write the documentation for "SP-1" but to use his Altair instead. There were no suitable programs available, so he decided to write his own.
MITS Altair 8800
The "Electric Pencil" program was quite unique and Shrayer began selling it through his own company, Michael Shrayer Software, Inc. By 1980 78 different versions were created for different home computers and operating systems. "Electric Pencil" remained on the market into the 1980s, including a version for the IBM PC in 1983.
"Electric Pencil" 2.0

No comments:

Post a Comment