Xetec

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Xetec /ˈztɛk/ was founded in 1983 by Jon Flickinger, and was located in Salina, Kansas, United States. Before closing in 1995, the company produced many third-party products for the Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Amiga, Macintosh, Atari ST and PC computers.

The Lt. Kernal was the first third-party hard drive peripheral for Commodore computers. Originally developed by Fiscal Information in 1985, it was turned over to Xetec for manufacturing and customer support.[1]

Xetec's best selling product was its line of printer interfaces, which allowed people to use many models of non-Commodore parallel-interface printers with their Commodore computer. Some of the popular printers of that era that were supported included Canon, C-Itoh, Star Micronix, Epson, NEC, Okidata, and Panasonic. Early interface models (such as the "Serial Printer Interface" and "Graphics Printer Interface") simply converted from Commodore's serial format to the more standard Centronics parallel interface, with only minimal ASCII conversions and graphic character printing. The Super Graphix Jr added support for 50+ printers and "Near Letter Quality", which was a technique of using multi-pass graphic printing to achieve better looking text printing. The more sophisticated Super Graphix also added an 8K data buffer, screen dump support, two user-loadable fonts (from a library of fonts included on the included disk), and a font creation program. The Super Graphix Gold added a 32K buffer, 4 fixed and 4 user-loadable fonts (from a library of fonts on disk), 10 font printing effects, picture printing, built-in screen dump programs, fast-serial support, and the rather unique ability for the interface to talk directly to a disk drive (for printing pictures and loading fonts directly from disk).[2]

The Fontmaster line of word processing software provided Commodore users the ability to exploit the graphics capabilities just emerging in printers of the day in order to produce documents containing a mixture of font styles, sizes and effects as well as embedded pictures. Although lacking the power and flexibility of word processors available today, it was ground-breaking in its day, winning an Outstanding Original Programming award at the 1985 Consumer Electronics Show. Fontmaster 128 was featured in the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show Software Showcase.

Xetec's offerings for the Amiga included SCSI interfaces, hard drives, CD-ROM drives, streaming tape drives, and RAM expansion. Xetec was the first to offer the popular Fish disks collection on CD-ROM with their three-volume set of Fish & More discs.

Xetec also developed a few products for Macintosh and PC computers, products for the RC hobby market, and spent a number of years in research and development of solid-state fluorescent lighting ballasts, for which Jon holds two patents.

Some of the products which Xetec produced: Lt. Kernal, Serial Printer Interface, Graphics Printer Interface, Super Graphix, Super Graphix Jr, Super Graphix Gold, Graphix AT, Fontmaster, Fontmaster II, Fontmaster 128, Printer Enhancer, FastTape, FastTrak, FastCard, FastCard Plus, MiniFastCard, FastRAM, Fish & More (vols. I, II, III), CDx CD-ROM Filesystem, CDx 650, Beeping Tomm, SuperWriter 924, SCAD.

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