In October 1972, we ordered a floppy disk drive from Century Data; the first to announce this technology, but in January 1973, they returned our prepayment as they could not deliver. In April 1973, Memorex Corp. delivered to TUI one of the first floppy drives shipped in the world outside of IBM. We were told this was actually the first drive shipped, which was built by Memorex engineering, not production.
By June 1973, our microcomputer was loading programs from the floppy drive (earlier we burned $100 PROM sets to test each software version). Memorex's Floppy Disc Product Manager said "MTU is the first in the world to load software into a microcomputer from a floppy drive". We developed our own analog PLL (Phase Locked Loop) circuit in our data separator that delivered incredibly stable data from the floppy disk media. We have used this in all our workstations to allow upgrading clients features and fixing bugs. This is the basic concept behind an open architecture workstation; software loadable features.
By 1975, we had developed our own 16-bit multitasking microcomputer workstation and multitasking operating system (written by Richard Smith) running four independent Display/Keyboard/Floppy Disk workstation consoles from a single computer (shared-logic). Irv Miller, VP Marketing of Artec International said out of 43 R&D facilities he have visited, no other product was even close to what he saw at TUI. He later became Director of Word Processing Products at Wang Labs.
Starting in 1974, David negotiated with both Olivetti International and A.B. Dick Co. to bring the product to the market. However, in March 1976, after five years of working 80 hours a week and much in debt, David sold TUI to Hendrix Electronics in New Hampshire; the leader in printing & publishing text processing.
In January 1980, A.B. Dick Co. bought our word processor product from Hendrix. Over the next four years (7 to 11 years after our first showing) they sold over one-billion-dollars worth of our word processor as the Magna SL Word Processor. TUI was one of the visionary companies in the Word Processing and Microcomputer industries, and developed one of the most successfully marketed products of these industries. Our patented full page display provided 69 lines by 85 pica/102 elite chars/line with instant scrolling to 132/158 c/line. When Tom Anderson, a bnk VP in Charlote NC, and a writer for American Mamagement Association (AMA) saw our Word Processor, we pointed out that our full page screen was the identical size as 8.5x11 paper. All other WP display systems used the 20 lines by 80 characters/line that made it impossible to know what your page looked like until you printed it. In describing what the operator saw with our WP system, before it was printed, we said "What You See Is What You Get". In his artical in AMA's Journal, he coined the now well know term WYSIWYG. Now you know its origin.
In 1979, MTU started writing our own Channel Oriented Disc Operating System (CODOS) to run on a 6502 microcomputer. In September 1981 we shipped the first MTU-130 Microcomputer Workstation for audio and data acquisition. Its built-in; 1) pixel accurate fiber-optic light pen (sign your name into word processor documents), 2) audio/speech output, 3) incredible floppy disc speed, and 4) 320x200 graphic dislay features were unequalled for years to come. Our floppy disc was 42 times Apple II (900 bytes/sec), 12.5 times IBM (3Kbytes/sec), 195 times HP for program loading (192 bytes/sec) and 25 times HP for data loading (1.5Kbytes/sec for data). It was even 5 times faster than a Corvus Concept hard drive on an Apple II with 6502 processor. Corvus hated to see us at trade shows.
for learning this much about us!