We now have a formal agreement with Mike Riddle for transfer of MicroCAD to the company in return for royalties to Mike to compensate him for his personal development of the package. Thus, we're now on the way with one of our major products. Mike has been working with a CP/M 86 system he owns (on a Godbout 8085/8088 board) and has been using an IBM Personal Computer at the local Computerland store on off-hours. He has acquired the Microsoft Macro Assembler and tested it, and has determined how to interconvert programs between PCDOS/MSDOS and CP/M 86. This means we can develop on one and sell on both.
Current thinking is that our best path to getting MicroCAD running on the 8086/8088 is to port SPL and recompile with it. Now that we have an assembler, we have all the key tools in hand to move the META and SPL complex. Although we will have to do a substantial amount of 8086 assembly code to move the package, when we're done we'll control the compiler, and that allows us to take advantage of floating point chip options, extended memory beyond what IBM's operating system supports (which you can buy off the shelf today), and other such selling points much faster than if we had to wait for our language vendor to get around to supporting them. One of the major hassles in using the 8086 is the memory segmentation architecture to address large memory spaces. Controlling the compiler allows us to be sure we won't be limited by the language to less memory than the machine allows.
To this end, Mike is plugging away on the SPL port. Once we get our IBM machine, we'll be able to increase the pace of this effort.
Editor: John Walker