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Radio Free Macintosh

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You've heard of MicroTV, which provides a small TV screen in the corner of a Mac II display. Well, not to be left behind again, radio is coming to the Mac too. Mosaic Development Co. announced a product called SpectrumFM, a $295 NuBus radio board. The board comes with a TunerDA desk accessory which will provide the necessary interface to the radio, much as Apple's CD Remote interface allows users to listen to audio CDs on the Apple CD-ROM player. TunerDA will also allow unattended recording of radio programs much like a VCR, with the user setting the time, date, station, and length. The recordings will go to any standard tape recorder attached to the card. The MacWEEK article does not mention if it will be possible to capture sound from SpectrumFM into a Macintosh file for use with HyperCard or other programs. Such a capability would undoubtedly enhance the popularity of the board.

Perhaps more interesting than a simple radio in a Mac is what Mosaic calls "data broadcasting." Essentially, each radio station has a portion of its bandwidth that is not commonly used, called the subsidiary communications authorization (SCA). Using SCA, Mosaic hopes to offer services such as automatic information updating, directories of local-service providers, and paging services. Not mentioned in the article are more ambitious uses such as email and file sharing between users in the same area (CANscity-area networks could become popular). Radio-based networks have been set up, but they usually do not have the transmission power of a radio station behind their broadcasts.

Mosaic Development Co. -- 714/496-0881
Related articles:
MacWEEK -- 01-May-90, Vol. 4, #17, pg. 6
PC WEEK -- 20-Aug-90, Vol. 7 #33, pg. 49

 

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