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Golden Software History: PLOTCALL version 1 Released

On this day in 1983, the first product from Golden Software was released. PLOTCALL version 1 was designed to interpret easy to understand numerical commands to specify coordinates of a plot. 

"PLOTCALL creates the finest high resolution graphics with minimum programming effort."

PLOTCALL was where it all started for Golden Software! We have come a long way, but our foundation of creating high resolution graphics in an easy-to-use environment still remains our mission today!

There were two fundamental methods for creating graphic illustrations with PLOTCALL:

  1. The application of any programming language allows the user to generate the necessary coordinates and commands using equations, algorithms, and language oriented functions.
  2. The use of a direct file generator such as a digitizer or text editor allows the user to enter the necessary coordinates and commands manually or have them generated via the peripheral.

To give you an idea of how PLOTCALL worked, here are a few PLOTCALL commands:

PURPOSE PLOTCALL
Numerically
Coded Command
PLOTCALL 
Example
(in Basic)
move to coordinate (1.0, 1.0) with pen up 1.0, 1.0, 3 WRITE#1,1.0,1.0,3
change origin to coordinate (4.25,5.5) 4.25,5.5,1 WRITE#1,4.25,5.5,1
move to coordinate (5.2,3.8) and draw the string 'ABC' at an angle of 38.7 degrees, 0.5 inches in height 5.2,3.8,4,0.5,38.7,'ABC' WRITE#1,5.2,3.8,4,0.8,38.7,'ABC'

 

Below is an example code from PLOTCALL to create compass rose diagram:

100 OPEN "COMPASS.PLT" FOR OUTPUT AS #1
110 WRITE #1, 4.0, 5.5, 1
120 WRITE #1, 1.0, 0.0, 3
125 WRITE #1, 1.0, 1.0, 5, 'SET1.SYM'
130 FOR DEGREE=1 TO 360
140      RADIAN = 0.0174603*DEGREE
150      WRITE #1, COS(RADIAN), SIN(RADIAN), 2
160 NEXT DEGREE
170 WRITE #1, -1.0, 0.0, 2
180 WRITE #1,  0.0, 1.0, 3
190 WRITE #1,  0.0,-1.0, 2
200 WRITE #1,  0.0, 1.1, 4, 0.1,    0.0, "N"
210 WRITE #1,  0.6, 0.6, 4, 0.1, 315.0, "NE"
220 WRITE #1,  1.1, 0.0, 4, 0.1, 270.0, "E"
230 WRITE #1,  0.6,-0.6, 4, 0.1, 225.0, "SE"
240 WRITE #1,  0.0,-1.1, 4, 0.1, 180.0, "S"
250 WRITE #1, -0.6,-0.6, 4, 0.1, 135.0, "SW"
260 WRITE #1,  -1.1, 0.0, 4, 0.1,  90.0, "W"
270 WRITE #1, -0.6, 0.6, 4, 0.1,  45.0, "NW"
280 CLOSE #1
290 end

 An overview of PLOTCALL and the early beginnings of Golden Software are described described below:

Patrick Madison, a CSM computer science instructor, and Dan Smith, a graduate student, began a partnership in 1983 with the development of a printer interface language that took advantage of the full resolution available to dot-matrix printers.

Their first commercial program, PlotCall, transformed plotter instructions into dot-matrix instructions compatible with over 20 commercial printers. This opened the computer graphing and mapping market to the wider arena of users with inexpensive commercial printers.

More information about the history of Golden Software can be found by clicking the Company | History links above.

 

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

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