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#1 Thelen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2001 2:53 PM

well i've got a spectre gcr and i've heard you can emulate a mac on the st with it, could anyone tell me how to do this or where i can find some information or download software for it ?

THanKS, Thelen

#2 Wntermute OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 13, 2001 10:00 PM

Here's a link from Albert's reply to the "Cart Port" thread here:
http://www.geocities...rd/spectre.html

#3 Doctor Clu OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 28, 2001 6:38 AM

Wow!!! You love me! You really love me! Yeh, that is the Spectre GCR site that I put together, and I woudl like to get more on there.
I would love to see Spectre push the System 7.0 barrier, but for now, it is a great emulator (that ran faster than the Macintosh Plus it was trying to emulate!) that can run up to System 6.08. As you can imagine, this opens up a lot of applications and games for the ST.

I am another user here in Dallas have fun playing with it. If you'd like to join us for a chat sometime, check out...
http://stargate.cs.swau.edu/atari

Take care!

Doctor Clu

#4 Wntermute OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 30, 2001 4:09 AM

AFAIK, real Pluses can run System 7.0.x (prolly 7.1.x also). So a GCR with Plus ROMs (maybe even with SE+FDHD ROMs) should be able to run System 7. Any real limitation would be on the ST side where storage concerns begin to pop up.

I know a friend of mine used to program on the ST and even came up with a resource fork parser that would check a resource forked file and extract the ICON (1-bit 32x32 icons w/ mask), icl8 (8-bit 32x32 icons, using the ICON mask), and other assorted useful Mac resource types. Back then, we were both in awe of the vast information resource that was Inside Macintosh.
[/list]

#5 Doctor Clu OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2001 4:21 AM

From: Wntermute
AFAIK, real Pluses can run System 7.0.x (prolly 7.1.x also). So a GCR with Plus ROMs (maybe even with SE+FDHD ROMs) should be able to run System 7. Any real limitation would be on the ST side where storage concerns begin to pop up.

@>-->-------------
Hmmm... I've considered trying other ROMS but I have been hesitant for obvious reasons. But then again, like you say, the Macintosh Plus can run up to 7.5, so I don't understand where the problem was.
Dave Small said he spent many nights trying to chase down why it wouldn't work. I think he was experiencing the financial troubles at Small,Inc by that time unfortunately.
Other mentioned it was the way System 7 accesses the DSP? The initial program did not access it the same way. Something like that.
But hey, I hope that one day we will get bored and find a way to make it happen.
@>--->-----------------


I know a friend of mine used to program on the ST and even came up with a resource fork parser that would check a resource forked file and extract the ICON (1-bit 32x32 icons w/ mask), icl8 (8-bit 32x32 icons, using the ICON mask), and other assorted useful Mac resource types. Back then, we were both in awe of the vast information resource that was Inside Macintosh.

@>-->-------------------

Oh yeh, a lot out there. Makes one appreciate the trouble Dave and company had to go through to make this happen.

Doc Clu

#6 Eric Small OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 13, 2001 12:43 AM

Wow.. My dad's famous.

Sweet!

#7 AtariDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 13, 2001 4:30 AM

How is your dad doing Eric? What has he been up to? I used to own an Atari ST a long time ago (9 years ago) and I remember the emulator. I was interested in finding out what happened to him after their was no market for his great emulator.

#8 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 13, 2001 10:57 AM

I'm also curious about what you're father is doing these days. I had a Spectre GCR back in the day and had a blast with it. I loved showing my Mac friends how I was running Mac software on my Atari ST with a better screen resolution and roughly the same speed. Oh yeah, and at a considerably cheaper price than their Macs.

..Al

#9 AtariDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 14, 2001 10:03 PM

I think the Spectre was what helped some people get hooked on the Mac. Certainly the ST was a great machine being able to run ST software, Mac software, and PC software with something like PC Ditto.

It is a shame that the ST did not catch on here the way that it did in Europe.

#10 dsmall OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 18, 2001 6:36 PM

Oh, I've been doing this and that. I've been writing a lot more on the fiction side and finding out how hard it is to deal with characters in books (as opposed to, let's say, character sets).

I'll ramble across topics here and do an "update".

I think Linux is incredibly neat and I use it as a tool all the time, most notoriously, to solve word puzzles that drop by from the Internet. Linux on an "old" machine makes the PC downright useful at 200 Mhz with older EDO RAM. That durn thing hums along. My fave is SuSE Linux but everyone has their own fave, and I willingly listen.

I put in some less than memorable time at a few outfits... there are funny stories there. I keep up with some friends. Toad Computers is now an ISP but Dave and Jenn Troy are still my bro and sis; Dave just had him a birthday! Jimmy Hotz allowed me to record a song at his studio; I still go the Hacker's Conference. Quantum computers are a comin' ... learn about QuBits and how to crack PGP stuff very fast.

I had the 800XL on .. let us see, yesterday ... o'scoping out the millisec and microsecs of video timing with son #3, Jamie. It's funny I had never done this before, but I found out each TV frame is 1/60th of a sec (0.016666 sec) (kay, I knew that), that horizontal refresh is about +/- 64 microsec (15000 Hz), and the individual pixel times are around 500 ns. I learned a lot from Don Lancaster's TV Video Cookbook so I learned what I was seeing. I am quite surprised by the _beauty_ I see on the scope just by varying the display. Heck, that 8-bit Atari is a *great* video demonstration tool; Jamie learned a lot.

The Camaro still lives and still Warp Drives.

Hyperweb is still a project in the making. I wish I was more comfortable with "C", but I always feel like I'm playing with something that can instantly shoot me in the foot. Oh, well, getting down and rock and rolling with machine code was always kinda my thing. Maybe I should go write boot Roms? The trick is having enough computer power to drive the user interface, which we finally have, and enough mass storage, which we finally have.


The kids ...

Eric (19) is up at college. Currently he's sitting behind me beating a game called "Counterstrike" on a 1.4 Ghz machine I built up.

Jenny (18) is also off at college and won herself a full scholarship to the place. She looks a lot like Sandy, which I think is a good thing (Sandy looks a lot like Laura Dern). I am impressed with Jenny.

Jamie (13) is still in high school, of course, and going through Argelbra or however it is you spell it.

Those of you who saw them while they were little (or remember Eric breaking his leg and us having to do a shutdown) would not believe he is now 6'3".

I'm sorry there wasn't better information available about what killed Gadgets. I really didn't know that people didn't know.

(Yeah, there's a great sentence! :-) )

Back in the early 90's Gadgets by Small simply died because we lost a lawsuit we filed against a memory controller outfit, for a bug in their chip, which delayed shipping the 68030 SST. The thing had a bug that was nasty indeed to find ... you had to switch "banks" of RAM (4M banks) very fast, and then the controller chip crashed, killing the 68030 and RAM refresh, thus leaving no tracks. You can sorta see this is a way nasty, lay back and bite you sorta bug.

We happened to trip the bug when the stack was around the 4 Meg border, I believe; it hit below, above, below, all *fast enough* to trigger the bug. And doing it with a debug monitor just was not fast enough to cause a crash. I had to go to the absolute best computer guy I know -- who was in my high school computer club -- and he ended up finding the damned thing. Whooo, that was a lot of work.

We took it to trial and I learned the lesson of "Always Settle Out Of Court". I guess the jury didn't "get" what was wrong, or whatever. Anywho, they hit Gadgets with their legal fees > $250K, and it was file b-k for Gadgets time.

To make it all weirder, Jim Allen was the Expert Witness for the chip guys (?), and the Judge disallowed George, the board designer, as an Expert Witness. Puhlease. (Whatever happened to Jimbo?)

The stress of all this was, of course, a world of fun, and I think it played a big role in Sandy and I breaking up in 1996. Yup, we've been apart five years. We had a fine fifteen years together and three great kids. I hear she is a fine Web programmer; she always could code well and had the artistic side covered as well. I wish her well.

It's a lot of fun to look at the emulator market these days. There's around five Mac emulators for the PC. It just amazes me because, who ever expected clock speeds to hit 1000 Mhz? Good Grief! At those speeds it just runs away from (say) a 33 Mhz 68030, and getting the 68030 SST running was just not easy. I have a lot of respect for those designers.

There are also Apple ][, NES, Sega, and you name it emulators around there, and I really think we all had some role in proving out to the world the issues of, basically, the right to do whatever you wanted with your ROMs, including, well, sticking them in another machine! I can sure remember the non-action by Apple and people being mystified; trust me, a lot of work went into defining how to do this thing legally.

We never hit a point where the market for the GCR fell off; we hit a point where the business was wiped out by the legal stuff. Believe you me, I keep some of the Spectre stuff framed on the wall, including some registration cards, which were so kind...

I am not sure if I can get my articles online to the web. There's a good chance the magnetic media they are on has died from, well, just age. I have no idea if my ATR-8000 (remember?) still works. Sure a fine machine for its time, though.

I am having trouble getting my other writing platform from then, an AT&T 6300 (PC clone with 8086) to work again. Scanning the articles in would be enough to stun The Terminator; I believe I have copies of nearly all of them, but whooo, they fill two shelves worth of notebooks (just the articles, not the entire magazines).

If you remember Barb, last I heard she was down in Jamaica, which she loves, with a new daughter (!). Barb was one of the big reasons Gadgets worked and I'll always be grateful.

I don't know what happened to Dan when Supra was bought out by Diamond. Last I saw of him, he was in Vancouver, WA. Anyone know?

Last I heard from Doug Wheeler I think he was up at MECC in Minnesota, I think. I may have gotten a more recent note and spaced it. Alas, my dsmall@well.com signon is getting spammed to death ... it is no fun to ask for mail and get, literally, 1.7 megabytes each time. I wish I had any clever ideas on that, but I don't.


Spectre stopped at 3.0 externally, at about the 16th Beta revision. I worked my tail off at 3.1, especially to address SCSI drives, and we got them working. I got that working in the assembly code, and Dan Moore got it working in the "C" code, which was the frontend menu magic he did, but we could never get the "handoff" of variables from the "C" code to the ASM code to work. Dan was up at Supra by this time and coordinating with him was tough. It was tricky stuff.

I also had some real unfun playing with the MMU on 030 machines, trying to get it to settle down on 12 meg Mac machines. Just never got it out before Gadgets was cashiered.

(And I always wondered why I couldn't map faster, fastRAM memory into the low memory, and make things run faster. It just never worked for me, and I really hacked at it.)

If someone wanted to try and release 3.1, and laugh themselves sick at some of my 68K Gadgets code, that might be okay ... you can sure tell the portions where I got mildly desperate and tried everything. It is *extremely* commented. Dan's C is pretty heavy in my opinion. I'd have to ask Dan if we could release his code under GPL or something. If it'd help one person learn some clever ways of getting impossible stuff done, I'd post it under GPL, no problem.

But as my mentor Wayne Smith told me, it didn't matter how elegant 3.1 was; we never shipped it. What matters is what ya ship. I never got 3.1 out the door, but I did get the TT running Spectre off SCSI hard disks.

The Falcon version just never flew; we did some work on it, the very hard "What about THIS idea?" stuff, but never found a good way to access the disk drive to read McDisks (probably have to go with 1.4 MFM format) nor really use its video capabilities. I wish I'd kept up on what other people did with the Falcon; I saw some pretty cool stuff.

System 7.0 had a bug early on in the boot process that took a horrific amount of work to find. I believe it ended up being a Nil pointer *read* that returned a pointer to a data structure, well, it returned the Atari ROM startup addresses. That then plopped corrupted data all over everything. It was a subtle bug way in the middle of nowhere that caused a chain reaction crash. (The zero reads were a major pain for us because, well, they never triggered a bus error, and thus they were not fun to find and fix). MultiFinder was unstable because it was doing that. The only reason we really found it was the ZAX In-Circuit-Emulator. (This is also the only reason I found an interesting thing in 68K chips ... multiply and divide fail unless the stack is pointing at valid RAM. It uses RAM for a scratchpad!).

I think I had to set up a multiple event trigger ... some line-A trap after this and that ... and then trace into some machine with a huge disk (probably a whopping 20 megs back then), then read to the end and find the disaster. It was really un-fun. I patched it by hand (what fun!) and let the machine run, but it crashed further in. If you remember your Mac history, the first release of 7.0 was not exactly a thrill.

And the tragedy, I think, is the system update fixed the zero-store and zero-read. I never tried it personally but was told the patch issued to the initial release of System 7 fixed it. I don't know myself for sure.

I will try and setup a non-spammed signon here shortly that ya can email; right now, the ones I have get clobbered very, very quickly. Need some work on anti-SPAM tech.

Wish you all a very Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday, hope you had a good 2001 (I did), and hope for a better 2002!

-- thanks,

Dave Small

#11 eric_ruck OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 19, 2001 10:50 AM

Wow, it's great to see the luminaries of yore lurking in the halls here. Thanks for the update.

As a way of expression appreciation for fine Gadgets products, I'd like to say how well my Spectre GCR served me. I was porting medical educational software from PC/DOS (that I wrote) to the Mac using the Spectre and Think C. It saved me a bundle by being able to develop on my Mega 2 ST, instead of having to buy a Mac. Also wasn't susceptible to most of the nasty viruses being passed around in those days. Kudos.

And I bought it from David Troy, a fellow student at Johns Hopkins. Glad to see he's still around.

Good luck in your projects, diverse and numerous as they are. If you need the help of an accomplished C programmer or copy reader, let me know.

Eric Ruck

#12 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 20, 2001 11:31 PM

Hi Dave!

Thanks tremendously for the wonderful writeup of what you've been up to, how your family is doing, and what happened to Gadgets by Small! I'm sorry to hear that a legal defeat is what did the company in--you guys were making some pretty innovative products. I could always impress people who didn't know what an Atari ST was capable of by demonstrating the Spectre GCR. They may not have known much about the ST, but most people were familiar with the Macintosh, so to see Mac software running on the ST, on a larger screen no less, was something they could relate to. And quite useful, to boot.

quote

I am not sure if I can get my articles online to the web. There's a good chance the magnetic media they are on has died from, well, just age. I have no idea if my ATR-8000 (remember?) still works. Sure a fine machine for its time, though.


Oh man, yes, I remember the ATR-8000. A friend of mine had one of these puppies, it was a pretty cool piece of hardware. While looking for a picture of it, I stumbled upon this article you wrote for Antic magazine. It includes a mention from you about how you can use the ATR-8000 as a printer buffer.

Do you have your old articles on Atari 8-bit disks? Are they in some strange format? It would be worthwhile trying to restore them if you don't have 'em anywhere else. I'd be willing to help you with that endeavor and I'm sure others would be glad to help also.

quote

I am having trouble getting my other writing platform from then, an AT&T 6300 (PC clone with 8086) to work again. Scanning the articles in would be enough to stun The Terminator; I believe I have copies of nearly all of them, but whooo, they fill two shelves worth of notebooks (just the articles, not the entire magazines).


Wow! Having scanned in lots of material for AtariAge, I can appreciate the amount of work and time that would entail. It should be pretty easy to get any content off the hard drive off that AT&T 6300, assuming it has a hard drive that still works.

Have a wonderful holiday and it was great hearing from you!

..Al

#13 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:14 AM

Wow!!!

Hey Dave, great to see your still around, lost touch with you a long time ago, but glad to see yours still lurking and participating...

While your mentioning all the great products, your leaving out another of your lesser known but equally amazing products and thats the "Integrator" which was a fantastic OS replacement board for the Atari 800, mostly for use by Corvus HD users, but just the fact that it had its own management menu that popped up when you booted up with SELECT held down, you could set up whether you wanted an SIO disk drive to boot, a particular partition on the Corvus HD to boot or a Ramdisk to boot and then it would save those settings in nvram, great device!!!

Curt

#14 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 31, 2001 10:45 AM

Dave Small - what a small world indeed (pun intended).

I bought your products just so I could get your newsletters. They were great as were your products.

I was able to scratch out a B in my tech writing class in college showing the cost benefits of the Atari w/Spectre and AT Speed vs buying seperate Mac and PC Clones for the PC lab - thanks !

Sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations. Good luck on your future endevors and please stop by to write.

#15 dsmall OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2002 7:38 AM

Many thanks for the kind notes!

I may be able to supply back Antic and/or START issues for scanning. I'll have to look in storage. But would be happy to help.

The Integrator was a nice OS board for the Atari 800 series. What it did was to decode the "SIO" vector, in hardware, and if it found that, force a new address (to yet another Dave ROM) onto the bus. It made everything as seamless as possible... Corus, Axlon RAMDISK. I did it mostly for a friend in Austin.

Only now I know that using the Atari code for simple hex->dec conversion could foul up some things. Ah, well, live and learn.

The whole question of how long magnetic media "lives" is of interest to me, so I'll probably be dragging the ATR-8000, an SB-180 (non-Atari), and the AT&T 6300 out of storage and seeing how that works.

Tell me: Is there any source for 810 drives?

Question: I simply do not know the law on posting "pasted up" pages from ANTIC nor START, nor the START disks. Has Jim C. given an ok? If so am happy to help. (I still have many of the START disks).

How is the OCR software these days?

I will *try* to get a website running (mine is notably lame) with kid pics, etc. Please note my dsmall@well.com address is still up, but, at last look had 1.5 megs of spam in it ... just junk mail. I hate digging through that sludge.

Finally ... while it may sound like trials and tribulations, it wasn't. Whenever I got to feeling down, I would go read warranty cards. (Yes!) And what people wrote made me feel better, perked up my day, you name it. *I had fun *.

Did you know that the "Saga of Yap" finally, somehow, made it into a device that emits ultrasonic energy as a "dog trainer"? Too funny... I hope it isn't misused.

Just to let you know, in the other room, are a couple of IC's flip-flopping in a timer circuit that has ... *heh* *heh* ... "interesting uses."

"Hacking is a survival trait" --

movie "Hackers"

which, I think, was Angelina Jolie's first.


Hey ... if anyone has schematics on how to supply a deglitched, good +5 from a car environment, I would appreciate it. The Camaro lives! Someone sent them a long time ago.


Many thanks,

Dave Small

davetracer@aol.com

(p.s. Please don't overwhelm that signon or it'll overload the lame aol mail buffer, ok?)

thanks...

#16 Allan ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 1, 2002 8:34 AM

Hi Dave,
If you haven't already, check out www.atarimagazines.com for all your Antic (and soon, we're working on it) STart needs. It's all legal too.

Allan

Atari magazines

#17 gurjit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 12, 2002 9:55 AM

Hi Dave,

Just to let you know that there are people in far away places like Malaysia who owned your Spectre GCR (still do) and loved every moment of it. Just sad to hear what happened. Despite the take over by Micro$oft and with widely available Intel machines (I use one too), I find more comfort with my Atari MegaST (upgraded to PAK 68/3-50Mhz-simply brilliant). It still doesn't fail me in my work and now I'm looking forward to the Falcon with 68060 upgrade card.

Best Wishes to you.

#18 AtariDude OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 14, 2002 10:01 PM

Hi Dave,

Nice to hear from you. I used to remember how cool it was to run Mac software on an ST and you had a good writing style that was fun to read.

I also remember one particular article where you were talking about Dungeon Master and how you would kill one of the dragons on the lower levels by attacking from behind. You would tell your son according to the article that you were spanking the dragon

Anyway nice to hear from you and best of luck with all your future endeavors.

#19 srs5694 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2002 2:59 PM

Wow! That was quite an update from Dave Small. I'm sorry to hear that Gadgets ended so ingloriously. I had an ST and a Spectre GCR years ago, until my ST died and I decided to replace it with a Mac LC.

Recently, though, I've acquired an Atari TT and another Spectre GCR, so please add me to the list of people who'd like to see the 3.1 software released, even if it's imperfect -- as it is, I can only use floppies, and that's downright painful, particularly for somebody who's been using hard disks for over ten years. I'd offer to contribute to further open source development of it, but I lack the skills required to do anything but make it worse. (Then too, maybe I just need a Neil Young CD! ;-) )

#20 rIO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2002 10:24 AM

Hi,

Well just to say that your articles, printed in ST Magasine (France) were really excellent... some was really helpful for me, from many points of view (err.. yes, this myers-briggs test for example)

I think those articles were in fact one of the things which got me in the computer field )

I had even pack them in a LaTeX document, in order to show these articles to some friends ... even now.

I'm really sorry about what happends to GBS and to you, but I wish you best luck for the future !

bye,

Nicolas.

#21 philipl OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 5, 2002 5:57 PM

did anyone findout what happened to Jim Allen?

#22 doctorclu ONLINE  

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Posted Fri May 2, 2008 12:48 PM

I am currently getting rid of my ST stuff, but scanning the Small World articles from "Current Notes". Will be happy to get those posted to the Spectre GCR site, or something like it.

And though I will not have a ST/TT soon, (and never had a Falcon because Spectre would not work with it), I will keep the Spectre. Strange.. I know. :D

I keep wondering if the Spectre can be hacked to work on the Jaguar. :D

#23 dinosaur OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 2, 2008 5:59 PM

Wow.. My dad's famous.

Sweet!


Hello Eric! Your Dad is *quite* famous with us old farts! I think that I read about everything that he and your Mom ever wrote for the Atari.

you were mentioned in several of your father's "Current Notes" articles. :)

I was fortunate enough to met your Mom and Dad at one of the Washington AtariFests.

Please relay my two decades old regards to them and please ask them not to be strangers here.

A lot of their old fans would love to hear from them!!!!!

#24 lp060 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 4, 2008 1:04 PM

I made it to some of the last shows, like the last World of Atari show in Michigan way back when and the last two M.I.S.T. shows. Met the fine folks at Toad and I recall CodeHead Software (John) was there and Dave Small, although I didn't get to speak to him at the time. Saw his products though, was extremely impressed. Ah, the good old days. :)

#25 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 4, 2008 1:36 PM

Wow, ancient thread but I never read it before. Great to read Dave's posts. :cool:




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