Altertext has announced the “Communicator,” a screen-based protocol converter that can read and write floppy disks used on personal computers or provide direct linkage between incompatible pieces of computer equipment. It permits direct exchange of texts, formatting and other commands, and codes between word processors, typesetting equipment, and computers. Virtually any combination of incompatible computer-based devices can communicate through the device. The data can be received via telecommunications channels using a modem, or directly from another computer-based device via connecting cables. Both asynchronous and bisynchronous interfaces can be used. Data transmission rates of 300 to 19,600 bits per second are accommodated. In addition to its conversion capabilities, the unit is equipped with a CP/M operating system so that it can be used as a standalone desktop personal computer. The system is priced at $12,000.
[Contact: Altertext Inc., 210 Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111, (617) 426-0009.]