We have the current IBM software distribution agreement. Anyone who is curious about their standards can get a copy.
In addition to Mike Ford's connection with Victor, we have good contacts at Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Onyx, Corvus, and Timex (which sells the Sinclair). Most of these are just waiting for us to have products to demonstrate.
Dan Drake brought up a possible guerrilla project: an existing Marinchip program that computes all known tax deadlines. The complexities of tax payments are such that the Wall Street Journal ran a flowchart on Federal withholding tax deposits alone. A program that handles these details ought to be worth $50 to any business in California. (It would be a major project to configure it for other states.) ,
The consensus was that we should convert the program to CP/M and put it on the Apple Softcard. We should get an opinion from accountants, though they have a conflict of interest in that they get high fees for providing the same information to their customers. The program will have to be sold with the understanding that it will be obsolete in a while; people will have to get updates when the rules change. It would be appropriate to let someone else distribute it, since it's off our main line. A major problem is putting on a good enough disclaimer to keep from being sued into nonexistence if we, the customer, or the tax people misunderstand the rules.
John Walker described Micropro's anti-theft provision: their manuals say, in places that make the statement hard to get rid of, that if your copy of Wordstar doesn't have such and such a sticker on the label, you have an illegal copy. Just send it to us and we'll give you a legal one! Of course, they can find the buried serial number on the disk, so they know who the fink is. This seems the best protection scheme in the business, and well worth emulating.
The most animated discussion of the day was on marketing MicroCad, which is very close to being a reality. The plans agreed on are summarized as part of the MicroCad project discussion.
Editor: John Walker