A Tribute to the Dick Smith System 80
(aka Video Genie and PMC-80/81)

Dick Smith System 80 Software


Interestingly, Mark Sim went on to work for EACA

Although most of the software marketed for the System 80 was written primarily for the TRS-80 Model 1, there were a few programs commissioned by Dick Smith and written for his new computer. The advertisement opposite, taken from Micro-80, issue 10, September 1980, shows that Dick Smith was serious about building a bank of homegrown programs.  All these programs worked on the Model 1 as well, but avoided using the arrow keys making them compatible with early System-80 models.  

This page comments on just a few.  More can be seen listed in the software flyer on the advertising page.  Note that not ALL programs listed on the flyer are in the category above.  Some were TRS-80 Model 1 programs (e.g. the ones from Microsoft) which were simply licensed to Dick Smith Electronics for retailing to those with System 80s.

The cassette files for these programs can be downloaded from the Cassette Image Archive and the disk files can be obtained from the Disk Image Archive or from links in the descriptions below.

Some homegrown examples include...

Amateur Radio Log

As many amateur radio enthusiasts frequented Dick Smith stores (and probably became computer maniacs to boot!) it's no surprise to find software specifically for this hobbyist group in the Dick Smith catalogue!  Basically a tailored database program, this 1982 offering (on this non-booting single-sided, single density, 80-track disk image) allows logging of all those exotic contacts.

Space Invader

Anyone for Space Invaders!Actually this was a pretty good cassette-based game.  It followed the standard scenario (kill all the ships until they reached the bottom of the screen (and you)). BTW, this screen shot, from a TRS-80 Model emulator, is not quite the same image as would be seen on a System 80.  Can you figure out why?

Pick up the cassette image from here

DeathTrap

Death trap imageFairly primitive avoidance arcade game, supplied on tape for 16K machines.

Get it here.

Dick Smith Demo

Cheesy Dick Smith ImageThis BASIC cassette-based program is a kind of cheesy screen saver which (I assume) played on the computer while in the shop.   It actually came as the first program on a System-80 demo tape, which also contained the other EACA demo offerings.

Here it is!

Scurve Invaders

scurve invadersThis cassette-based offering was an early attempt to use arcade games to educate. In order to kill the massing alien ships, the player had to correctly solve an equation.

Good try, but it was more fun just to blast them! (-: Click here for the manual and here for the program.

Turbo 2000

This is quite a good racing game. I'm not sure if a cassette version ever existed, but I got hold of this one. It's on this non-booting single-sided, single density, 80-track disk image.

By Rick Maurice, 1982

Diagnostic Disk

DiagnosticsA disk-based memory and disk testing program. The layout is incredibly similar to TRS-80 package "Floppy Doctor/Memory Diagnostics" by Dave Stambaugh. I wonder if it was licensed from him?

Download the manual here and the self-booting disk image here. A non-booting version can be found on this non-booting single-sided, single density, 80-track disk image.

WORP-1 and WORP-9

Worp9WORP1 was a  budget word processing package sold by Dick Smith for the System 80.  Designed as a low-cost alternative to the TRS-80 programs Scripsit and Electric Pencil it suffered from the fact it was written in BASIC.  That means it had a hard time keeping up with fast typists and now and again the dreaded Level 2 string "garbage collection" routine would kick in leading to the operator staring at a non-responsive computer for a significant period of time! A self-booting disk image can be downloaded here, and the manual from here.

WORP-9 (pictured) seems to have been an upgrade to WORP-1. Written all in machine code, it was much faster. Costing $350, this version was written specifically for the System 80 MK II and requires the extended ROM found in that machine (downloadable here). A self-booting disk image can be downloaded here. The manual can be downloaded here.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivableRetailing at $350 Aussie dollars in 1981, one of the more expensive Dick Smith business packages was this accounts receivable system. I managed to rescue this application from three worse-for-wear disks. Disk 1 is self booting in drive 0, but requires disk 2 to be in drive 1 to complete the process. BTW, if a directory command is issued on the program disk in drive 1, it appears empty. Don't be alarmed, it's not. It's just that the files are invisible, presumably so as not to confuse the user.

A zip containing the package can be downloaded here. I don't have a manual (yet) unfortunately.

Share Market Analysis

Share Market AnalysisThis menu-driven program provided "point and figure" charts for individual or group stocks. I don't have an instruction manual but you can download a self-bootable disk image here.

Data File Manager (DATFILE)

Data file managerJust what it says. A database manager. you can download a self-booting disk image here but it seems rather cryptic without a manual.

Disk Mailing List System

Disk Mailing ListA database systems for names and addresses. Used for printing those sticky lables that went on envelopes back in the day. Download a self-booting disk image here and its associated manual here.

Paymaster Payroll System V1.41

Paymaster Payroll SystemI don't know a lot about this one but it's obvious from the name as to its function. Try it out yourself by downloading a self-booting disk image. Here is the manual.

Stock Control and Pricing (SCAP)

A Stock Control and Pricing application was commissioned and written specifically for the System 80 by Dick Smith Ltd.  There is no screen shot available, but a brochure can be seen on this section of the website. According to an employee of Dick Smith Ltd. at the time this software, which consisted of a mixture of BASIC, interspersed with machine code routines and supplied on a slightly modified DOS disk, was very good for its time and found its way into a number of large companies. The "Dr What" chain of video stores in Australia is one example.