Clean Slate Word-Processing for the TRS-80

Howard W. Sams #22005



Clean Slate was my one big push to make it in the freelance software industry. I wrote a word processor for the TRS-80. It was a huge task, all assembly code. It was a good product, superior to anything on the market. My scheme was to write a good program that I expected to be pirated. Then I wrote a long elaborate book, complete with source code, that detailed everything in the product. I figured that people who liked the program would go out and buy the book, and the people who read the book would then go buy the program. I didn't figure on a publisher who neglected to mention that the program was for sale. I had people from all over the world write me letters asking for help. You see, Sams didn't use my camera-ready listing of the program code. They had it typeset, complete with OCR errors, and spelling corrections. The poor people who read the book laboriously copied the mangled assembly code in by hand and tried to get it to work. For years, I did a brisk business in sending out free errata sheets. In all, I made about $1000.