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Author Topic: Box-Soft (Read 23385 times)

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #30 on: 2015.February.20. 11:18:07 »
Welcome Tim!!!

Offline TimBox

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #31 on: 2015.February.20. 11:28:16 »
Hi,

Seems like a great place to say hi.

I'm Tim Box from Box Soft. My only claim to fame is I was involved in Private Enterprise the Fanzine for the Enterprise computer. And some how started selling software for it.

Unfortunately I no longer have any hardware as I gave/sold of my remaining kit to a collector 15+ years ago.

Two enduring memories are of Peter Hiner who wrote ZZZip. He is one clever guy who was really a great chap to boot. And Kevin Richards who the first time he wrote to me ended with Kevin Richards 14.5 years old.

Feel free to ask me anything.

Cheers

Tim

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #32 on: 2015.February.20. 11:41:27 »
From my informations (magazines, etc) I think you are a central person of the UK Enterprise life. Made a great support for the users which are not got to many official support from the Enterprise company.

We have a lot of questions :oops:

I think the most easy: there is the magazines archive. We have all Private Enterprise magazines or exist any more?

Quote
Unfortunately I no longer have any hardware as I gave/sold of my remaining kit to a collector 15+ years ago.
If possible you still have any documentations, schematics, letters, anything from the old good days?

Offline MrPrise

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #33 on: 2015.February.20. 11:42:14 »
Welcome Tim. I'm glad you joined.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #34 on: 2015.February.20. 11:49:54 »
And some more:
How did you start with computers? Did you have any other machine before the Enterprise?

And how did your story start with the Enterprise?
« Last Edit: 2015.February.22. 08:11:50 by szipucsu »

Offline Bagpuss22

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #35 on: 2015.February.20. 16:16:33 »
Tim,

That collector may have been me, not too sure, memory not as good as it should be! 
I remember going and collecting a large selection of Enterprise items including mice,
interfaces, magazines etc.

I may be totally wrong :oops:

This was years ago and when I first got into the Enterprise scene with Jean Pierre Malisse.

Regards

Russ

Offline geco

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #36 on: 2015.February.20. 19:58:38 »
Welcome here Tim :)
Do you remember the Hungarian contact Mr Kopácsy?
If yes, could you please tell us some story?
« Last Edit: 2015.February.22. 08:12:44 by szipucsu »

Offline TimBox

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #37 on: 2015.February.20. 20:10:41 »
Hi, Thanks for the warm welcome...

Russ, if you went up into the loft with me to look at them, then it will be you. Also part of it was a monitor. It was like a box with minimal bessel.

You said you and your friend/colleagues liked to set themselves a task of converting spectrum games over. I was impressed!

My computing started with a Spectrum 16k. I was never any good at programming but had fun with it. I built an XY plotter that I used to draw and scan images. And even drew my girlfriends 21st birthday invite with.  Later when I got my Enterprise I scanned some more images (very slowly) if there is one out there of an astronaut on the moon with a reflection in the mask. That was done on it.

When I first heard of the Enterprise I was in awe. But it took a long time to get to market. Eventually it was available and I got one.

From the start I was wishing for a mouse, I used to stare at it for hours thinking how cool it would be to use one. In the end I did it my self. I can remember calling up the coder who wrote for it on the Commodore asking how you talked to it. As I was crap at coding I then passed that on to someone else. Andrew Richards took over the coding and wrote the drawing program that was sold with it.
The hardware was my design but as you can see if you ever saw one the edge connectors were a pain, sometimes requiring that you finely adjusted by trimming the heat sink.

The emulator was a prime example of vaporware. I worked out what I want to do and how to do it. But relied on others for help. Their commitments meant they were not able to always help. I got one working (kind off )in the end but it taght me not to go promising anything until you could deliver.

I can't remember how we started Private Enterprise but it meant I got to play with all the software and hardware which was great. There was a young lad who did all the initial artwork. He was fantastic, he gave it up in the end and Eamon O'leary took over.

I started BoxSoft as I thought that the advertising Enterprise was doing was not upto much and I could do a better job.

I will post more later. I have to catch up with some history on this site...

Tim

Offline CiH

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #38 on: 2015.February.20. 20:14:45 »
Great to see you back Tim!

As a one-off contributor to 'Private Enterprise', how many of these were produced in the end. Is the tally more or less equal to the archive here, or were there some more issues that haven't seen the light of day?

It's been a long time, names such as 'Neil Blaber' are stirring in the back of my brain, wonder what happened to him?

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #39 on: 2015.February.20. 21:14:16 »
I built an XY plotter that I used to draw and scan images.
Wow, it is amazing! I understood the drawing... but how worked the scanning? Something light detector replaced the drawing pean, and it is report the pixel colours?

Quote
Later when I got my Enterprise I scanned some more images (very slowly) if there is one out there of an astronaut on the moon with a reflection in the mask. That was done on it.
This is?

11666-0

And this is also?

11668-1

When I first heard of the Enterprise I was in awe. But it took a long time to get to market. Eventually it was available and I got one.

Quote
The hardware was my design
Unfortunately in Hungary we don't know about it (including your intelligent joystick interface). Just in the last few years found it. I have it :) (and found it is originaly are Commodore mouse)

Todays the SymbOS make a new life for your interface, you can see it in my video :) Now thinking about a modern (PS/2 or USB) interfaces, but viewing from the Enterprise sw side will be compatible with the Boxsoft interface!

Quote
The emulator was a prime example of vaporware. I worked out what I want to do and how to do it. But relied on others for help. Their commitments meant they were not able to always help. I got one working (kind off )in the end but it taght me not to go promising anything until you could deliver.
Anyway very interesting idea and story! Will be very interesting: the final released emulator from the Hungarian 'a' Studio are the redesigned version of your?
In your letter what gflorez copied here, you wrote the idea of the keyboard conversion. And how worked the screen attribute conversion?
« Last Edit: 2015.February.20. 21:25:30 by Zozosoft »

Online gflorez

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #40 on: 2015.February.20. 22:26:02 »
Sorry Zozo, but I have already shown him that video on an email. Also I explained the improvements that you have done to that Enterprise ....

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #41 on: 2015.February.20. 23:56:44 »
Hello again Tim. I'm Gustavo from Spain.

Seems like the communities or clubs of Enterprise owners  have been isolated each one in its different country, not knowing very much of what was happening outside(Internet was being born then).

As you already know this web is Hungarian, and they had a long history of  association and development around the Enterprise128. But they where at the other side of the iron curtain, they grew isolated and so, only until recently they have learned that some significant advances where sold to them as if where achieved in Hungary by Hungarians.....(Spectrum emulator, Basic extensions, Paintbox without mouse... etc)

Much of them where Boxsoft's projects so it is why you are important here...

In my case, in Spain I also was isolated, but for other reasons, as at that time I didn't know any other Enterprise owner.

But a few years ago some of your material surfaced (now we know it was yours) and then we learned about the existence of Private Enterprise or Enterprise Computing International magazines.

Reading your adverts inside them was paradoxic to the people here as your company seemed to have plagiarized something that was obviously own for them. But the dates where clear, you made all that very early in UK...

Now all the members understand the obscure business of some Hungarian companies, but there are things of that years we still don't know.

For example, the SD-card reader that you see in the video is based on an HD interface developed by Zozo about eight years ago, but Inside the ECI magazine, in an advert made by a company named Dataquip, they talk about a "German Hard-Disk Interface. (Page 12)

Do you know something about that HD project?
« Last Edit: 2015.February.22. 08:26:19 by gflorez »

Offline TimBox

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #42 on: 2015.February.22. 10:21:49 »

Hi, EP addict, gflorez

Wow you found them! They bring back memories.

The scanning hardware was a rotring pen nib that I pulled the guts out of and stuck a LDR (with a lens I think) to the top. Then just raster scanned the image (the space man was in a news paper). At every pixel I worked out the gray level and plotted it to the screen. The stars in the background I think were added later.
It was not high res as you can see and wobbled. Also when drawing the base was a sheet of glass to get a flat surface suspended on bolts. So every time the pen dropped it went "plink". The sound is still in my head. plink, plink.......

The other image I think might have been a composite of 2 images where they were xored selectively using the drawing program that I shipped with the mouse.

It was not until many years later I heard the Enterprise went over to Hungary. I thought it all died as the parent company filed for bankruptcy in the UK. Its great it got used more.

The Private Enterprise magazine tally looks kind of right in the end others took over, Eamon would know for sure. I used to keep a collection in my loft but cleared it out in the past.

From memory there was only a floppy interface developed by Enterprise themselves. When I looked at hard drives they were massive and had no memory I do not remember one being available while I was playing with it. I tried opening the link to the ECI mag but it just brings up blank pages so cannot see it brings back memories.

Neil Blaber you can kind of see where he was going as in the last IEUG mag is pushing disks with MSDOS freeware. Last I heard from him he was a manager of some  tech department. I would have to look back through linked in to see where exactly.

Kevin Richards last I looked runs a company writing compiler optimizers for the games industry. It fits as when I knew him he wrote his own asm compiler.

Sorry I will write more but have some orders to fulfill before tomorrow so better get on with them.

Cheers Tim






Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #43 on: 2015.February.22. 11:58:36 »
It was not until many years later I heard the Enterprise went over to Hungary. I thought it all died as the parent company filed for bankruptcy in the UK. Its great it got used more.
Yes, in Hungary the Enterprise very successful! More than 20000 machine sold, I think the EP are the third most popular 8 bit machine in Hungary after the C64 and ZX Spectrum.
The main Enterprise era going from 1987 to 1995 in Hungary. And after few years pause on the internet started the Enterprise community again.

Back to your images, see this brochure from the Centrum Áruház (large department stores, in every big cities), where the Enterprises sold:
http://enterprise.iko.hu/brochures/EP-prospektus1~1.jpg
http://enterprise.iko.hu/brochures/EP-prospektus1~2.jpg
http://enterprise.iko.hu/brochures/EP-prospektus1~3.jpg
http://enterprise.iko.hu/brochures/EP-prospektus1~4.jpg

It is including two more images, the football players and windsurfer. I think these also yours, it is true?

In the '80 years when I see this brochure, I thought these are too good pictures as computer picture :-) I thought it is only - with todays word - photoshoped...
Only few years ago when I got some IEUG and Boxsoft tapes found these as real Enterprise picture file.
Ok, today we know the Nick can do many more better :-), but in the '80 years your images shocked me, what a fantastic images!
When I found the real picture files then I thought these are video digitized, never thought about scanning!

About the ECI: it is a PDF file, try to download it, and open directly with Adobe Reader.

The HDD expansion what about gflorez talking: it is from Germany, interfacing IBM XT Seagate RLL controller card to Enterprise. We have a ROM file for this, but never see it in the real life. In a interview with Mr. Kopácsy he is also talking about it, but he say: don't sale HDD interface until the warehouse full of Spectrum Emulators...

Offline TimBox

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Re: Box-Soft
« Reply #44 on: 2015.February.22. 13:03:18 »

Hi Zozosoft

Yes the footballer looks right and the surfer is definitely correct.

Are those other images really from an Enterprise? WOW is all I can say. If only we did that back then. :)

Ok that explains why I never saw the HD interface...

All very memory invoking..

Tim