Dann McCreary

s/n Name    
* DISK-O-TAPE
By Dann McCreary. For the Apple II and II plus, Pascal edition.
Transfer an entire disk to tape in a single bound!
Thanks to Dirk B. for the gift!


 

The following is an e-mail I received on 14/DEC/2011 from Dann McCreary, the author of the above products:

Hello Antoine,

It is good to hear from you. Thank you for the courtesy of your
reply! :) Thank you also for the link to the other Disk-O-Tape
files. :)

Back in the late '70s and early '80s I was trying hard to market
the programs I had written, but I was always a better coder than
a marketeer. Apple-80 and Cosapple were actually disk images but
as a shoe-string sales operation, I sometimes shipped them on
self-booting cassette tapes made in the Disk-O-Tape format. My
unique idea was that using a single-line typed into the Apple ][
monitor (*200.240R) the first audio track on the tape was loaded
and run, and subsequently would bootstrap the rest of the disk
image into place on a formatted 5 1/4" floppy disk.

This was in the day when a 128K byte diskette cost about $5 but
you could get three cassette tapes for $1, so the cost savings
was quite a bit. :)

Most of my sales came from press releases published in the various
computer magazines, like Byte, Kilobaud, SoftTalk, Compute!, and
others... but the sales from those releases enabled me to do a
little bit of advertising later in some of the same magazines.
However, sales never reached a level that would allow me to become
"self-sustaining" and so I was never able to quit my "day job"
and write independent software full time.

I had a very disappointing experience when I chose Sybex over
another software publisher to market my Apple-80 program; Sybex
really messed up the documentation when they re-printed it, and
consequently I was horrified to read some very bad reviews of my
software resulting from Sybex messing things up...

I no longer have an Apple ][, but I may have one or two archived
copies of some tapes and/or some documentation. No promises, but
just supposing I were able to find some of that - if I were to mail
a cassette to you, could you possibly recover the data and post the
results on your site? I think you are doing a service by archiving
some of this software from "the good old days" and making it available
to hobbyists. :) I also wonder if you might be interested in some of
the nicer "fan mail" that I got from users of my programs? :)

The market back in the day was pretty hungry for software; I am sure
that some of my sales were simply because there was not too much
available at all, and some people were just curious. But I also think
that I would have done a much bigger business if I had tried to make
some computer games (like Scott Adams adventure programs) or if I had
listened to a friend's advice and written a good word processor for
the Apple.

Nevertheless, I am still a working engineer and designer, and still
very thankful for God's kindness to me through the years. I still
invent things and try to market them. For the past ten years my cousin
and I have been designing and building the core technology for
Viametrics, a people-counting company based in Sweden.

http://viametrics.com

Well Antoine, that's probably lots more than you wanted to hear... :)
Thank you again for writing, and please keep in touch from time
to time! :)

With kind regards,

-Dann