During 1989, while developing Rashumon, I found myself looking for a copy protection solution for Amiga software but there wasn’t any. The Amiga had a very non standard Parallel port, which made it impossible to just adopt a copy protection dongle from other platforms, and there was a need to develop a completely new system.
Hardware based copy protection systems are based on a hardware device which interact with the computer using the port assigned to it. Back then (1989), the USB wasn’t invented yet, and the Parallel port was used. The Parallel port was the port used for printers for many years, and therefore any dongle would need to have “pass through” connector allowing the printer to be connected to it, instead to the port directly.
Hardware based copy protection requires interaction with the device through most of the connector pins, being able to read each pin’s value, and to change each pin’s value from 0 to 1 and vice versa. The Amiga didn’t provide any API to do so, which made me look for undocumented features, and code directly to the hardware instead of using any existing SDK.
With the help of Shimon Groper, the founder of EliaShim, I have made many attempts to create a dongle compatible with the unique and undocumented hardware. I used to go from Tel-Aviv to Haifa, and after several hours, leave with a box, covered with many wires in all colors, which was supposed to be the prototype… Eventually I found the way to implement the first Amiga based copy protection dongle and instead of buying bulk dongles from Aladdin, I have accepted the kind offer of Yankee Margalit, their founder and CEO, to by the Amiga product from my small software house (HarmonySoft), and after a short period of negotiation, Aladdin paid me $12,000 and my product became the AmigaHASP.
An Italian magazine published an article about the AmigaHASP:
As part of the deal, I have trained the technical people from Aladdin about programming the Amiga, and even gave them Amiga books and magazines. We have announced the new product, and if Commodore wouldn’t have gone out of business, short after, the AmigaHASP would have probably been useful for many Amiga based software houses. I can tell from my own experience, that it was used for Rashumon, the multi lingual graphic word processor I have developed.
On 1986 I published my first professional article about using computers to compose music.
It was published in People and Computers, “32 Bit” magazine.
DataTune was developed as part of a venture named Target Data. I have developed a data cleansing software named DataTune and performed data cleansing projects to many organizations, among them:
* Standards Institution of Israel http://www.sii.org.il/14-he/SII.aspx
* The Israeli Export Institution http://www.export.gov.il/
* Elite http://www.strauss-group.com/elitehebrew
* Del Engineering http://del.co.il/
* Microsoft Israel http://www.microsoft.co.il
* People and Computers http://www.pc.co.il
A page from the book, Who’s Who in Israeli Business, 1992
An article published at Amiga World on May 1994.
A new word processor for Amiga computers, by Commodore, has launched.
The word processor, Rashumon, was developed by HarmonySoft, and it has the ability to read out loud the text (currently only in English).
It is a multi-lingual word processor which enables typing and editing in various languages, using miltiple fonts and colors. The typed documents are printed exactly as shown on screen, like with Macintosh computers. 8 colors can be used simultaneously, chosen from 4096 available colors. Text can be highlighted in Bold, Italics and underline.
Here is a screenshot of Rashumon, the multi lingual graphic word processor for the Amiga.
And here is the Table Generator
And also search / replace including text attiributes (color, font, style, etc.)
And a bi-directional ruller:
(There is also a Hebrew version of this writeup)
During the years 1998 and 2000, I was involved in a unique venture which aimed to establish in Israel a new bureau for risk assessment and credit scoring. This venture was known as Target Scoring.
The TargetView system was used in house as a tool for making many types of assessments based on disaggregative areas and the attributes the share. Obviously, such information is provided “in all probability”.
The LogIn screen was used to identify the employees.
The main screen to follow, compiled a summary based on many databases and statistical tables, some of which are produced by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Before explaining the user interface, I will elaborate about the logic behind it. Groups of people are defined, for example, as disaggregative geographical areas, meaning that “area1” doesn’t have to be equal in any way to “area2”. They can have different size or population, but at the same time, they will represent a portion of the general population, having unique attributes such as wealth. Then, when a person is checked, the system makes assumptions based on the group he or she belongs to, and reflects these attributes on this person, without knowing him or her individually. This is useful for fraud detection (creating profiles of people and purchased), credit scoring (predicting financial strength and stability based on statistical data collected from other people in the same “group”, etc.).
The next step is to draft a Polygon on a given map, in order to display known and predicted (in all probability) data about this Polygon. The advantage of TargetView is with it’s ability to allow creating such polygons on the fly, and getting the information about them.
There are several methods provided for creating such polygons, among them entering a list of coordinates (“x” and “y” pairs), calculating an area based on a given radius, etc. The raw data used for the on-the-fly calculations looks like that:
Another utility was used for plotting points based on given data, on a map.
This system was very helpful for analyzing data and also for finding errors in analysis made by others…
Title: Rashumon – a word processor that speaks for itself
Sub title: a graphic multi-lingual word processor for Amiga computers.
Author: Sams Harari, Editor, 32 Bit Magazine
Date published: November 1991
Magazine: 32 Bit (owned by www.pc.co.il)
After a development period of a year, a graphic multi-lingual word processor for the Amiga was announced. The word processor, developed by Michael Haephrati from HarmonySoft, allows typing and editing of text using multiple fonts, (including proportional spacing fonts). The text which is displayed as WYSIWYG can be printed with 8 colors, bold, italicize and underlined. The text can then be exported to other graphic software or saved in ASCII format, including a file compatible with PC format. Rashumon includes the feature of sophisticated searching and replacing, automatic save, math calculations and … reading the English text loud by the computer.
The user interface Rashumon has is intuitive while the end user controls the word processor both with the keyboard and the mouse. Scroll bars, (operated by the mouse or the keyboard), which are part of the user interface, updates the data displayed, in real time. Buttons are used to turn on and off various features and for displaying information about the attributes of the text. Text Edit boxes support proportional fonts and allow performing changes on selected text which can contain fonts of various sizes, colors and styles. Rashumon allows selecting an unlimited number of portions of the text and perform on them actions simultaneously. As for being easy to use, the various buttons are designed in 3d and it is easy to determine the function of each button even without looking at the user manual.
As a multi-lingual word processor, Rashumon can combine text in two languages properly; each line can be chatarterize separately based on its main language.
A unique graphic word processor for the Amiga computer. Sold for $150
Looks who’s talking
One of the original new features Rashumon has is the ability to select with the mouse one or more parts of the text and ask the computer to read them loud.
Many Amiga users are probably aware of the Amiga ability to perform artificial speech from the demo program (DEMOS). Now, a text reading routine was developed for Rashumon to read out load the text in an almost “human” voice. Thanks to the unique characteristics of the Amiga, the selected text/s are translated into phonetic syntax which are converted by a unique library into number which represent digitally (much like a CD player) the required sounds producing the artificial speech. These sounds are sent, using an Analog to Digital converter to the 4 sounds channels of the Amiga. This routine reads the text according to its logical order and not just right to left or left to right.
For the time being, the text reading function in the current version of Rashumon is limited to Latin text or Hebrew text written in Latin characters (the word “שלום” should be typed as “shalom”). In the next version it will be possible to read Hebrew text as well, that thanks to another routine which is now in advanced development stages. This routine, using artificial intelligence will “select” the appropriate Pronunciation which suits best any problematic words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently.