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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Automating Projectors

To the Editors:

In Henry Petroski's wonderful article "Next Slide, Please" (Engineering, September-October), PowerPoint 1.0 is given as the first presentation graphics software program for the personal computer. From my experience, that distinction should go to "Harvard Presentation Graphics," a software package that appeared in 1986. A minor point, but from the perspective of one who explored those early programs, an interesting detail nonetheless.

Ira Yermish
Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA

To the Editors:

"Next Slide, Please" omitted one important development. In 1978, Hewlett-Packard came out with a personal desktop computer which would control a transparency generator pen-plotter. It came with Basic language software which could easily be modified to generate almost any kind of a graphical presentation page. This development revolutionized our economical and statistical presentations. We could generate items in minutes without having to use pre-programmed specific formats or professional graphics departments.

James I. Morgan
Midland, MI


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