NEWSLETTER #21 10/01/84


Version 2.50 is ready!

BRAILLE-EDIT Version 2.50 works with the Apple 2c and with DECtalk. It fixes an annoying formatting problem with the Cranmer Brailler. It features improved translator tables and an improved ECHOTRAN chapter for work with the Echo 2. It features a transformation chapter to change Versatext formatting commands into BRAILLE-EDIT format.

If you bought BRAILLE-EDIT and a Cranmer Brailler from Raised Dot Computing, you will receive a free copy of version 2.50. If you want to upgrade from Version 2.45, but have not bought a Cranmer from us, you can obtain a new program disk by doing ONE of the following:

1) Send $10.

2) Send four blank disks (Maxell, Verbatim or equivalent quality).

3) Send a newsletter article on a single disk.

If your version is older than 2.45, then you need to get more than just a program disk. See the following article "MANUALS and UPGRADES" in this issue.

In the last newsletter, I said that RDC had a BRAILLE-EDIT disk that was fully functional with the Apple 2c. That was true, as long as you didn't have to change the serial port parameters. Since I wrote that article, I have learned a lot about how the ports in the Apple 2c work. While it was true that BRAILLE-EDIT was functional on the 2c last month, I now have a disk which allows the BRAILLE-EDIT user full control over the 2c ports. I'll give full details on using the Apple 2c ports in the November issue of the Newsletter.

Echo Plus

I have heard rumors that the coming Echo Plus will not work with existing software. This is absolutely false. The Echo Plus card will work with the old TEXTALKER software. Your existing software will not be obsolete.

RANA Disk Drives

Nick Dotson reports that the RANA disk series is completely compatible with the Echo two and with BRAILLE-EDIT. RANA makes a series of floppy disk drives that read and write more bytes than standard Apple drives. The "Elite 3" holds 600K bytes, 300K on a side. This can be an inexpensive alternative to hard disks for someone needing more disk storage capacity.


There is still a lot of confusion about ordering upgrades and new manuals. I will try to clarify the situation.

A new double sided program disk is $10. If you have version 2.44A (or an earlier version), getting only the program disk will be very confusing. The program has been changed enough to require a new BRAILLE-EDIT Manual, and a new Interface Guide. A set of both print manuals is $15 when you upgrade. A set of both audio manuals is $15 when you upgrade. If you want a program disk and one set (either audio or print) of manuals it costs $25. If you want a program disk and two sets (both audio and print) of manuals it costs $40. If you are trying to write up a purchase order for an upgrade, you are looking at $25 or $40 depending on how many manuals you need.

We also sell braille manuals, which are more expensive than print or audio manuals. Braille manuals are $20 each. A set of the BRAILLE-EDIT Manual and the Interface Guide in braille costs $40.


The BRAILLE-EDIT Manual and the Interface Guide were revised in September. The text was cleaned up and slightly improved. Both manuals were re-recorded. We are aware that the last edition of the Interface Guide was quite poorly recorded. Raised Dot Computing will exchange the new audio edition for copies of the old tape. Send us your copy of the Interface Guide recorded in March, 1984 and we will send you our new copy for free. This offer expires November 30, 1984.

As usual, a copy of an audio or print manual by itself is $10.


Harvey Lauer was inspired by the "Lessons" on the boot side of BRAILLE-EDIT to write his own set of lessons on how to use your Echo II with your Apple system. It answers many of the questions asked by blind Apple owners as they learn to use their computer. We are now including a copy of this disk with every BRAILLE-EDIT purchase where audio manuals are requested.

We are selling "Lauer's Echo Training Disk" for $10. We are pleased to offer this fine training tool so inexpensively.


As mentioned in a previous article, we will be sending Cranmer purchasers a free update of version 2.50 of BRAILLE-EDIT. This version corrects a communications problem between BRAILLE-EDIT and the Cranmer. Some customers reported getting strange carriage returns in the first line of each page. Caryn Navy tracked down the problem (using her trusty VersaBraille as a debugging tool). While we are embarrased about the problem, we are glad we can offer our customers a solution at no charge.

When you set up a braille printer configuration with version 2.50, you have to give the same form length for the Cranmer as the page length on the Cranmer. The default page length on the Cranmer is 25. So unless you use the chord/number sign P command on the Cranmer to change its page length, use a form length of 25.


There has been a lot of speculation, rumor, and misinformation in circulation concerning voice devices made by Street Electronics. Here is the latest information gleaned from numerous phone calls.

The Echo GP

The Echo GP is similar to the Votrax PSS and other "serial text-to-speech boxes". It requires a serial card to connect to your Apple. The Echo GP can be plugged right into a Super Serial Card on the Apple II plus or Apple IIe. The Echo GP can be used with the Apple IIc (as long as you have the right cable). The Echo GP does not have screen review. But you can vary the speech rate, pitch, volume, and degree of punctuation spoken.

Street Electronics, the manufacturers of the Echo GP, have discontinued its retail sales because of disappointing sales. Raised Dot Computing and Associated Services for the Blind are making a joint purchase of Echo GPs to keep them in circulation. The first shipment has just arrived. RDC is proud to sell the Echo GP for $225 each. If you want an Echo GP, contact us without delay.

The Cricket

The Cricket is a new voice device designed to work with the Apple IIc. The Cricket requires special software to run (similar to how the Echo II requires Textalker). Since this software is written in ProDOS, it does not presently work with BRAILLE-EDIT (which is written with Apple DOS 3.3). Street Electronics is writing a version of the software to work with 3.3. It will be ready by mid-November (hopefully). This software will allow the Cricket to work with BRAILLE-EDIT. Stay tuned to this newsletter for details.

The Echo II

The Echo II is a low cost voice synthesizer for the Apple II plus and the Apple IIe. It is a circuit card which plugs directly into the Apple. It needs no additional interface or cables. The Echo II cannot be used on the Apple 2c.

The Echo II features screen review. It also allows the user to quickly change modes of operation. The Echo II has been very popular amoung blind users of the Apple for its low price and many features. The TEXTALKER software that runs the Echo II is contained on the BRAILLE-EDIT disk. When Street Electronics runs low in parts for the Echo II, the Echo II will be replaced by the Echo Plus.

The Echo Plus

The Echo Plus is an enhancement of and a replacement for the Echo II. It features sound effects and musical tones. This will make the unit more competitive for the sighted market. The Echo Plus will work with software written for the Echo II.


Or at least widely-read. The RDC Newsletter is written by members of the computers-for-the-blind community and, when no articles appear in our mailboxes, by the RDC staff. We welcome articles. The RDC newsletter has a varied audience. Our readers include absolute beginners and highly sophisticated computer whizzes.

If left to our own devices, the Newsletter might contain nothing but deeply technical reports on particular interfaces. Help save our readers from tech-head overdose!

In recent issues, we have had interesting and useful non-technical submissions. We'd love to print more. We offer a platform for philosophical debate; an opportunity to share tricks of the trade; a wonderful place for a "help wanted" notice.

Submissions on Apple diskette make our life much simpler--we can then share the information among our sighted and blind staff. We'll mail you back a blank diskette the same day we receive a diskette containing an article. Elsewhere in this issue, there is even a special deal offered for those submitting articles.

Let your creative juices flow! Remember back to that confusing place of someone completely new to computers for the blind. What do you wish you'd known in those first dizzying months? Many of our readers would be delighted to learn about it!

Coming In November

RESOURCE LIST -- Courtesy of S.A.F.

As a service to our readers, here's an annotated list of computer resources. Most of these come from the good folks at the Sensory Aids Foundation. They publish a newsletter, Sensory Aids Technology Update, which is full of useful information and contacts. Available in print and on cassette, a year's subscription to this monthly newsletter is $30.00. More than one subscription to the same address is $20.00 for each additional. Mexican & Canadian subs cost $37.00, and all other foreign subs cost $48.00. Sensory Aids Technology Update 399 Sherman Avenue, Suite 12 Palo Alto, CA 94306 415-329-0430

COPH-2, the Committee on Personal Computers and the Handicapped, is a consumer group that strives to influence the forces that determine how much computer technology will benefit persons with disabilities. Membership costs $8 per year, and includes access to personal computer loaners, resource lists, and their quarterly newsletter "LINK AND GO" (available in print and tape). COPH-2 2030 West Irving Park Road Chicago, IL 60618

An overview of aids for the blind is supplied by the quarterly, Aids and Appliances Review. Issues 9 and 10 (a combined issue) dealt with voice-oriented computer aids. Issue 11 dealt with braille-oriented computer aids. Back issues cost $1.25 each, and are available in print and on audio cassette. Subscriptions are free. Aids and Appliances Review Carroll Centre for the Blind 770 Centre Street Newton, MA 02158 617-969-6200

The National Braille Press has produced "A Beginners Guide to Personal Computers for the Blind and Visually Impaired". It covers basic concepts and some reviews of some popular systems used by blind persons. It is available in braille or in audio for $6.

National Braille Press also publishes a technical paper called Braille Research Newsletter. The latest issue, number 14, includes discussion of the Telebraille, stereotyping and duplicating, translation system, braille output from Viewdata and Teletext, VersaBraille user experiences, and more. It costs $6 per issue, braille or print. NBP also has printer and modem manuals in braille. See article elsewhere in this issue for titles and prices. Order from: National Braille Press 88 St Stephens Street Boston MA 02115 Attn: Diane Croft 617-266-6160

Baud is a bi-monthly, cassette-only newsletter discussing microcomputer applications, with an emphasis on Computer Aids, Inc. products. Subscriptions are $18 per year; back issues cost $4. Baud Joe Giovanelli 1158 Stewart Avenue Bethpage NY 11714 516-433-0171 (during business hours only)

A useful, amusing and well-edited resource for blind electronics professionals and hobbyists is the Smith-Kettlewell Technical File. Talking book subscriptions to this quarterly cost $8; braille and large print subs cost $15. Bill Gerrey, Editor Smith Kettlewell Technical File Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Foundation 2232 Webster Street San Francisco, CA 94115 415-561-1677

Two resources for people transcribing mathematics: The Handbook for Spoken Mathematics, written by Dr. Lawrence Chang, a blind mathematician. A free copy is available from: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories Office of Equal Opportunity PO Box 808 Livermore CA 94550

A two-volume work, Guidelines for Mathematical Diagrams, was developed by Florida State University. The first volume describes techniques, tools and supplies for creating tactile math diagrams; the second applies these techniques to samples. The work costs $10.50, postpaid, from: National Braille Association, Inc. 422 Clinton Avenue South Rochester NY 14062

A micro-computer bulletin board especially oriented towards blind computer users! Nick Dotson runs the "Braille Board"; you can connect by calling (904) 433-5325.

A quarterly newsletter on Australian and world-wide developments in tactual mapping is available free. Write: Tactual Mapping Working Group Australia Institute of Cartographers GPO Box 1292 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

Many thanks to the Sensory Aids Foundation for supplying us with this information. Any reader with a useful contact is hereby enjoined to send it to us.


[editor's note: addresses appear at the end of this article. Some appear in the previous article "Resources"]

This article will list several sources of help for the computer beginner. Because of the rapid expansion of computer technology throughout society, many of the best resources are informal.


When learning about a new area, sometimes you don't even know what questions to ask. We recommend you start by doing some reading to become familiar with the subject. The National Library Service (NLS) of the Library of Congress has several Talking Books on computers, programming languages, word processing etc. The September, October and November 1983 issues of "Consumer Reports" magazine deal with computers, typical uses, printers and software. These are a good starting point. Contact your local library for specific titles.

Recordings for the Blind in Princeton, NJ is a non-profit organization which records books free of charge. If the book has been previously recorded, all that's required is an application form. If the book has not been recorded you send them two print copies. They will record a tape version, keeping one print copy for their library, and returning the second print copy with the cassette version. They're an excellent resource for computer manuals and computer-related books.

If you can read the available print journals, there are over 75 magazines devoted to the subject of computers, some specifically devoted to one particular brand. There are also several magazines devoted to the software programs for the various computers. These magazines offer an interesting mix of technical information for the sophisticated user, product reviews of software, product reviews of new computers and accessories, letters to the editor and informative articles on equipment operation. While I have not previewed all 75 journals, I can recommend the following. "Popular Computing", "Byte Magazine", "Creative Computing" are good general magazines. NLS is now selecting one or two of these for braille and recorded publication. While these journals provide you with information about hardware and software, they DO NOT discuss the equipment used by the blind and visually impaired.


Another way of becoming familiar with computers is to take an introductory course. Most universities and junior colleges have courses geared for the beginner. Depending on the institution, the courses are from 5 to 18 weeks long. Course content depends on the instructor, but usually includes a description of how the computer works, information about programming, how to buy software and some hands-on work with the computer. Since many of these courses are offered as Adult Education courses, they are generally less expensive than those offered for college credit.

Be aware that most colleges are not set up for the blind. They probably won't have speech, braille or large print outputs. However, the course content may provide enough information to allow for a worthwhile experience.

In response to the new developments in computer technology for the blind, Hadley School for the Blind is developing a series of correspondence courses. One is an introduction to computers for the blind and visually impaired. Hadley is a not-for-profit accredited correspondence school offering a multitude of courses in various subject areas, specifically developed for the blind and visually impaired. Their courses are presented on cassette, in large print and in braille. Once enrolled, your course work is completed by mail and evaluated by an instructor at Hadley. Available this Fall is the computer literacy course which includes discussion of braille, speech, and large print computer output so useful to blind people.


An important source of tricks of the trade is available from your computing peers. You can find them at a "users group", a gathering of people who all have the same brand of computers. Users Groups usually advertise their monthly meetings in local newspaper, colleges and computer stores. Frequently, the Users Groups will be broken down further into groups for the rank beginner and groups for experienced hackers. The latter group may well contain some bright high school kids, who would be delighted to help you with tricky hardware interfacing. You may have better luck interfacing your adaptive technology to your computer by bribing a high school student with chocolate chip cookies that you would with a high priced "consultant".

National Library Service for the Blind 1291 Taylor Street NW Washington DC 20542 202-287-5100

Recording for the Blind 20 Roszel Road Princeton NJ 08540 609-452-0606

Hadley School for the Blind 700 Elm Street Winnetka, IL 60093 800-323-4283

Leonard Mowinski and Harvey Lauer Hines VA Hospital Blind Center 124 Hines, IL 60141 312-343-7959

AN EVALUATION OF THE MICROBRAILLER -- Harvey Lauer (V.A. Hospital, Hines Illinois)


The question put to us was "Is the MB2400 Microbrailler suitable to be considered for issuance to veterans as an aid to reduce the handicaps of blindness?" The manufacturer, Triformation Systems, Inc. of Stuart, Florida, loaned us a machine for several weeks of trials.


The device is designed mainly as a text editor and computer terminal. It has a refreshable braille display, a braille keyboard, two serial ports and a cassette drive.

The MB2400 is smaller, lighter and cheaper than its major competitor, the VersaBraille. Its two ports are more convenient and its 2400-character main buffer is an advantage for dealing with a screenful of data. An auxiliary buffer facilitates shifting text. Another advantage is the ability to use the memory and display without running the tape at those times when storage is not required.

There are two serious shortcomings. The first is the weak and unreliable display. The second is the complex and cumbersome operating system. These combine to make the machine very inefficent to use, and seriously handicap anyone who might depend on the Microbrailler.


The display is unacceptable. The display on the machine tested here is exactly like the Elinfa Digicassette. (The Digicassette was the first paperless braille device produced in quantity, and was a pioneering breakthrough in its time). Blind people were dismayed at the weakness and unevenness of the MB2400 display surface as compared to the VersaBraille's. In addition, two dots on our display did not work, creating errors on each line of text. Several other dots were weak. We spoke with users who had seen several Microbraillers. They said that the demonstration models like ours had slightly weaker dots than the most recently made machines, but that dot failure is still a common occurrence. Some have never seen a machine with all dots working. An occasional machine, however, works for a long period without servicing of the display. In view of these circumstances, we decided not to conduct further tests of speed or preference. The irate feeling elicited when reading the display is reminiscent of reading rumpled paper braille text.


An "operating system" is the rules and commands by which data is stored and retrieved from the storage medium (in this case, audio cassette). The Microbrailler's operating system is so cumbersome and complex that the current (fourth) edition of the manual still does not explain how to make full use of it. I finished learning the operating system by conferring with the authors of the latest revisions of the manual, Sandra Ruconich and Tom Kimbrough. In my opinion, some potential users would find this a punishing task. Even when the operating system is fully utilized, it is slow. The VersaBraille system is twice as fast, but even then, linear cassette storage is inherently slower than random-access diskette storage. If the Microbrailler is used just as a data recorder, then it is only as efficient as using a computer with a cassette recorder. This is a fate only the rankest of amateurs or the most ignorant of employers will tolerate.

Here are the things a good operating system does which the MB2400 does not do. It formats or initializes the storage medium; it maintains a directory which it updates and from which it loads files; and it controls the storing device. The Microbrailler only turns the power to its cassette drive on and off. The user must manually update the table of contents or directory, rerecord it, and direct the machine to locate positions on the tape by number. These positions are frequently missed. To do all this, the user must use poorly-designed controls that require too much force.

Print format commands have been added since our unit was tested, so we will not comment on them. The same is true of software control of the serial port parameters.

The handling of upper-case and control characters is poor. Although all characters can be entered from the keyboard, only a few control characters can be recorded on the tape. This limits the commands which can be given to printers and computers. No control characters, not even carriage returns, can be displayed in braille, so the user cannot read where lines change. The difference between upper and lower case characters cannot be displayed. There is a very cumbersome way (not described in the manual) of finding out the case status of a given character. There is no Grade One translator as in the VersaBraille. There are no switches to include or screen out control characters or change case status as in the old Digicassette. In many situations such as generating texts for and interfacing with commercial word processors, these limitations would be crippling. However, their handicapping effects would be minimized if braille copy were the only goal or where the Microbrailler would be used as a peripheral device for an Apple or I.T.S. computer. In such situations, material can be translated into and from Grade Two braille. Then capitals can be displayed to the user via the braille capital sign. The BRAILLE-EDIT program for the Apple has routines which work well with the Microbrailler because the program was designed for such multi-media use. Using an Apple running BRAILLE-EDIT, I transmitted many braille and print files to and from the Microbrailler. I sent a Microbrailler tape of those files to Mr. Kimbrough at Triformation Systems.


Ironically, the talking Zenith microcomputer that Triformation Systems sells does not have the best programs for utilizing its own Microbrailler. In view of this, I think the company should recommend the Apple or I.T.S. for use with its braille device. Using BRAILLE-EDIT, every ASCII character can be entered into and displayed from files. The old Digicassette handled all but one ASCII character. Several other valuable features were forgotten in the design of its descendant, the Microbrailler.

The Microbrailler interfaces well with the Apple through either the Super Serial Card or the California Card. I used a speed of 9600 baud. The Apple Cyber Card is not good for interfacing the Microbrailler; the MB2400 lacks a large enough input buffer to accommodate that card's lack of handshaking. It may work with the Print-It Card. It interfaces well with the VersaBraille. Both ports can be used simultaneously if desired. It can output ordinary files to a speech synthesizer. I used it with the Echo GP and the Intex Talker.

Unfortunately, the user cannot read the display as text is being sent to the machine. (This is possible with VersaBraille's terminal overlay or with the Talking Transcend program on the Apple.) The MB2400 display either shudders or remains dormant while data is being received.

There are other problems. The established computer braille standard was not followed for ten ASCII characters. The case mode was reversed. This should not effect braille production, but the user will have to accommodate changes in the print code when those characters are needed. I checked every ASCII character and operating mode, something the other evaluators are not as well equipped to do.

The function keys are widely separated, causing inconvenience. If they were in a row at the left, the left hand could handle them conveniently while the right hand reads the display. If that change were made, the edit and cursor controls would be very superior to the VersaBraille's. People dislike the so-called "invisible cursor", probably because they do not understand it. They are accustomed to the more limited one in the VersaBraille. In addition, this manual lacks needed tutorial lessons in editing. The editor is an enhanced version of the old Digicassette editor with which I have worked extensively.


Most critiques I have seen are not as negative as this one. However, now that the manual is improved (except for needed tutorials), other evaluators may want to examine the MD2400 again. I have used this machine in all its modes, and I find it a lot weaker than we suspected. In short, the better new manual has better exposed the machine's weaknesses. I do not recommend its issuance [through the Veterans Administration] or further evaluation in its present state.

The VersaBraille has several weaknesses, but the present Microbraillers are weaker than the first Model B VersaBrailles. This is unfortunate in light of the need for adaptive technology. Working with the Microbrailler is like using a typewriter where a word processor is needed, or like playing in a concert hall with a spinet piano. We deserve better, but I will need evidence of this company's willingness and ability to produce a competitive product before I can become enthusiastic. That evidence would include a better braille display and a better operating system. One way of improving the operating system would be to make the machine a braille display for one or more portable computers such as the Apple 2c.

The most discouraging part of this report is not about hardware or software. This machine has been under design for several years and must have cost at least a million dollars. I am aware of many good examples and much good advice that the company has had access to. They make small, costly design changes only after problems become painfully obvious. If this were a new design, I would be less negative and more hopeful.

National Braille Press Computer Manuals

All of these manuals cost $10.00 each, postpaid, EXCEPT the Hayes Smartmodem Manual and the Apple II Dot Matrix Printer Manual Part 1. These two manuals cost $15.00 each.

All orders must be PREPAID. The National Braille Press will not invoice. Send your check or money order to < National Braille Press Inc., 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston MA 02115. (617) 266-6160 >


We recently received some information from Ron & Sue Staley that we'd like to pass on to our readers.

They run a service called QUIK-SCRIBE. They prepare braille menus at very low cost. Their menus are plastic (thermoformed) braille, so they are sturdy and easy to clean. Their set-up charge is $12.00. Then each thermoformed copy is $8.00.

Restaurant owners and others interested in having short reference documents in braille simply read the information on to an audio cassette. The Staleys take it from there.

Their address: < Ron & Sue Staley, QUIK-SCRYBE, 333 N. Berendo St. 333, Los Angles, CA 90004. Their phone is 213-662-7617. >


Apple Talk is a quarterly magazine for Apple computer users with speech synthesizers. Apple Talk will be published on computer disks. It will appear in February, May, August, and November of 1985.

The magazine will include articles about programming; peeks, pokes, and calls; ads for computer products and software, exec tricks; games; and utility programs.

In order to keep the costs low, Apple Talk will be sent out in re-usable mailers. Both the disk and mailer must be returned in order to receive the next issue. One year's subscription to Apple Talk will cost $10.00. Make your check payable to < Jeff Weiss, 3015 South Tyler Street, Little Rock, AR 72204. 501-666-6552 > If you want more information, please call on weekends or after 5 pm on weekdays.

4-SIGHTS NETWORK -- New On-Line Database

The Greater Detroit Society for the Blind is establishing a nationwide, computer based database called 4-SIGHTS NETWORK. It should be on-line in early 1985. They plan to have information of interest to both blind people and the professionals who work with blind people, including reports on aids, appliances, and adapted computer software. Individuals will be able to access this database using personal computers (equipped with a modem and communications software or "terminals of various types"). The database will be menu-driven; they claim that the only instruction needed to use the system will be how to establish the initial communication link.

The Greater Detroit Society for the Blind already publishes the "Occupational Information Library for the Blind" newsletter. They plan to include all this information in the 4-SIGHTS database. For more information contact: 4-SIGHTS NETWORK, Greater Detroit Society for the Blind, 16625 Grand River, Detroit, MI 48227. (313) 272-3900.



Many people have called up recently and asked how to write a BASIC program from BRAILLE-EDIT. This is a tricky process. To start with, write with your CAPS LOCK key down. You do not want any lower case letters in your text. At the end of each line, put a carriage return. At the very beginning of the BRAILLE-EDIT chapter, insert the following word processing commands: "$$l1$$w240" (double dollar sign lower case letter l digit one double dollar sign lower case w digits 240). These word processing commands are essential. They ensure that when you write a textfile, the format will be correct.

Once you have written the program as a BRAILLE-EDIT chapter, go to the Second Menu and "Write a textfile". Use a different name for your textfile than you used for your chapter name. For example, write a BRAILLE-EDIT chapter named "WIMPY". Then write your textfile with the name "UTIVE". The next step is to get the contents of the textfile into memory as a real live computer program. Hit a "Q" to get out of BRAILLE-EDIT.

Hit a "control/reset" to temporarily get rid of the BRAILLE-EDIT input/output system. If you are using an Echo II or other access technology, use a PR#0 or PR#2 as appropriate to re-establish communications disrupted by the reset.

Type "NEW" followed by a carriage return to flush BRAILLE-EDIT out of memory. Type "EXEC UTIVE,D2" followed by a carriage return. The textfile will be interpreted as if it were typed in a hurry. Any program lines with serious errors (such as missing line numbers) will probably be rejected by the computer. You will get a SYNTAX ERROR if a line is rejected. These would have to be retyped by hand. Don't forget to SAVE your program when you are finished.

GAMES COLUMN: Wheel of Fortune -- Keith Creasy

I'm pleased to announce a game program called "Wheel of Furtune." It's loosely based on the tv show of the same name; you may remember it as "Hangman" from your childhood. I wrote this program to be accessible both through Echo 2 output and through Apple 2 screen output.

The object is to solve a word puzzle which appears as a series of words whose letters have been replaced by stars. When a letter in the puzzle is guessed, it replaces the stars in all its occurrences. Each new pattern of stars, spaces, and letters appears on the screen and is spoken by the Echo two. Correctly guessing consonants earns you points. Accumulated points are used to "buy" vowels. To solve the puzzle, you must type it in exactly. A mispelling or typing error will cause the solution to be incorrect, passing play to the next player.

If a puzzle has already come up or is familiar to one or more players, it may be canceled and replaced by a new one. Otherwise, a player takes a turn by attempting to guess a consonant, buy a vowel, or guess the entire puzzle.

The puzzles are stored on the game disk in one or more lists (files) for easy maintenance. Currently the disk has one list with 330 puzzles. The user can create and change lists. Lists can be added as long as there is room on the disk. I estimate that the disk will hold 1500 puzzles. The program will select puzzles for play at random from all the lists.

Wheel of Fortune requires the use of an Echo two speech synthesizer and an Apple 2 computer. Instructions for play are included on the program disk. During play the control E key may be used in the usual way to give Echo commands (to get fast or slow speech, change the pitch, review the screen, etc.).

The price for the game is $29.50. Please send your order with payment by check or money order to: < Keith Creasy, 1956 Mellwood Ave., Louisville, KY 40206; phone 502-896-0132. >


We have a very clever encoding scheme for keeping track of Newsletter subscriptions. When you buy BRAILLE-EDIT, we sign you up for year. If you're already a subscriber, we extend your subscription a year. The year and month that your subscription expires is right on your mailing label, in the upper right hand corner. If your subscription label says "841008", it means that your last issue is year 84, month 10 (October), day 08. (The day is actually irrelevant.) Which means that what you hold in your hands is your last issue.

Don't wait til the end is in sight! Renew now!