Computers: Software Is for Sharing

Free programs keep books, play games, imitate birdcalls

When Dennis Brothers bought his new Apple Macintosh computer, he knew it had a shortcoming. Apple did not provide the necessary instructions that would allow the machine to send messages to other computers by telephone. Worse still, the company had neglected to publish the technical information that would permit professional programmers to write their own software. That did not deter Brothers, an M.I.T.-trained electrical engineer who runs a computer consulting business in Wayland, Mass. He opened up the Mac, studied its circuitry and wrote a program called MacTEP that solved the problem.

Then...

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