seeking INTERCOM mag. article about my ComputerVan and Star Trek game ... please???

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seeking INTERCOM mag. article about my ComputerVan and Star Trek game ... please???

John Knoderer
Greetings,

In June 1978, at the Cleveland Mensa AG, the Tandy's publicity director, a fellow Mensan, invited me (and a friend) to bring my TRS-80 equipped Computervan down to Tandy Headquarters in Dallas/Fort Worth. We came down in July or August 1978.

While there, the PR department interviewed me, photographed my computervan, and took a picture of me playing the Star Trek game that I wrote.

They sent me a copy of the magazine that the article was in, but due to circumstances beyond my control, boxes of my business papers were destroyed, including that magazine.

I would love to have a scan of the cover, table of contents, and the pages of that article if someone has it. I do not remember what month it appeared, but it was probably during Autumn of 1978.

As you might guess, I was the one who started giving away my 16K TRS-80 Model One Level One Star Trek game in January 1978. I did have a laboriously typed listing of the program, but it was also destroyed, darn it.

John Knoderer
Manning SC 29102

P.S. For people interested in some of the background,

1. I had played the teletype version of Star Trek at Indiana University before I left Bloomington, and did keep a program listing, but

2. I used the Star Trek listing from "What Do You Do After You Press Return" (or title very close to that) as a starting point for the new program.

3. I had to do major changes, as Level One only had 26 regular numeric variables (A-Z), two strings (A$ and B$), and one array, A(?). I had to create a chart showing what every variable stood for, and of course, had to have a number of temporary variables for loops (pun intended, FOR LOOPS).

4. Unlike other programs which used 3 characters to represent each ship in the quadrant, I went with just plain E, K, B and * for the Enterprise, Klingons, Starbases and stars. This savings in screen space allowed me to fill the screen with status information for most of the ships information and allowed a semi-scrolling command sequence on the right. (To save memory, and because I had no string arrays, once the command sequence filled the right side, it started over at the top.)

5. I added features I thought were fun. You could, deliberately or accidentally destroy your star base, in which case Spock had an appropriate comment. The Corbomite Maneuver actually could backfire against the player, because all the Klingons in the quadrant would scatter to random quadrants throughout the 8x8 quadrant universe, but the long range memory you'd been accumulating would suddenly be wrong. I had about eight random outcomes when you might use the the Emergency Transporter, including the possibility that you might come back as Richard Nixon.

6. I added line 775 as my Redraw Screen command, though most people probably didn't realize it. One time, a guy in St Louis tried to sell me "his" Star Trek game. When he demonstrated it, I recognized my game, played a few turns without needing any directions, then I clicked the break key and typed GOTO775. He exclaimed, "What are you doing?" I answered, "Well, ___, when I wrote this program two years ago, I set up line 775 as my Redraw Screen command. I pressed the return key, and the game continued with a fresh command screen on the right. His face went white. He stammered, "When I got this program, it didn't work." I replied, "When I released this program, it worked perfectly." He never tried to sell me any other programs, nor would I have believed they were his programs if he did.

Thanks for the interesting reminiscing.

John
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Re: seeking INTERCOM mag. article about my ComputerVan and Star Trek game ... please???

Tandy1
Hello John, I think you are looking for Oct. 1978.   I was just going down memory lane a few days ago and saw what I think you are asking for, I'll check for you.  
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Re: seeking INTERCOM mag. article about my ComputerVan and Star Trek game ... please???

Tandy1
Oct 1978


Well I tried to load the image but may have to email the images to the wonderful webmaster here and see if he can post them.  Not sure this worked.  OK, apparently has to only be one page at a time and not a pdf.  :)   I think this is the one your after?  
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Re: seeking INTERCOM mag. article about my ComputerVan and Star Trek game ... please???

Tandy1
Cover Oct.1978

Here is the cover for that month