Graphic & Sound Cards
The New Orleans General Data Services (NOGDS) Company offered add-on cards for the the H8 & H89 which provided both graphics, sound, and additional I/O ports. Roy Jenevein, along with the other co-founders of NOGDS, have released their manuals (minus the datasheets) to the public domain: "Except for the data sheets which remain copyrighted by their respective copyright holders, the manual is in the public domain and may be used for any legal purpose."
HA-8-2 Music Card
<Picture of HA-8-2 Music card coming soon>
The HA-8-2 Music card was the company's first product. More info coming soon.
HA-8-3 Graphics/Sound Card
The HA-8-3 provided color graphics and sound effects for the H8, under both CP/M & HDOS. It used the TMS-9918A Color Video Generator which can drive a NTSC compatible display. It has a programmable sound generator. It has 8 Analog/Digital converter channels and 16-bits of parallel I/O. It provided an option for a Am9511A arithmetic Processor.
The HA-89-3 offers the same features as the HA-8-3, plus 3 counter timer channels and a priority interrupt controller. In addition to the optional Am9511A, it also offered an optional VORTRAX voice synthesis and 2 12-bit digital/analog converters.
I received an HA-89-3 card and a photocopy of the manual, in the donation from P.R. I have not yet attempted to install the board in any of my H-89s.
A software support package called 'Graph-Pac-II' provided primitives and high level support which can generate circles, lines, points characters, and bar graphs. Allowed user defined character fonts.
It was available for both HDOS and CP/M and provided the routines for the following languages:
- Assembly Language (requires M-80)
- Basic-80 (Interpreter or compiler - CP/M only)
- C/80 Ver. 2.0 (requires M-80 & L-80)
- Tiny PASCAL
Here are some of the people, who were associated with the company.
- Roy Jenevein - Co-Founder
- David Troendle - Co-Founder
- Fred Hosch - Co-Founder
- John Souvestre - Design Engineer
This is a brief history of the company provided by David Troendle:
Roy, Fred and myself were cofounders. That predated the computer hobbyist fad. Originally we did traditional IT work such as consulting and application development. John Souvestre and I were childhood friends and John was active in the Ham Radio community in New Orleans. In those days Ham Radio and hobby computing were closely related. (Byte magazine was started by Wayne Green in September, 1975. Wayne Green was also the editor of 73, a Ham Radio magazine.) John was interested in promoting hobby computing, so the annual New Orleans Ham Fest began to include hobby computing. John encouraged me to contact Byte to see if someone would come down and make a presentation at an upcoming Ham Fest. To our astonishment, Chris Morgan, one of the editors of Byte, agreed to give a presentation based on the feature story of the upcoming September, 1977 issue. The story was about computer generated music. An image of the cover is given below.Heathkit stopped using outside engineering for the H89 computers, so we developed the HA-89-3 on our own.
The technique was surprisingly easy and Chris' presentation inspired us to go further. I am avid Heathkit fan and through a series events I can't now recall, John joined the company and the HA-8-2 music card was born. Our original plan was to market it just in the New Orleans store, but the store manager liked it so much he rallied other stores to sell it and eventually Heathkit picked it up. From there we developed the HA-8-3 card at the request of Barry Watzman, who was the product line manager for Heathkit computers.