KAMAS (program)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
KAMAS (Knowledge and Mind Amplification System)
Original author(s)Adam Trent
Developer(s)Compusophic Systems
Initial release1984; 40 years ago (1984)
Operating systemCP/M
PlatformZilog Z80

KAMAS, an acronym for Knowledge and Mind Amplification System, from Compusophic Systems, then Kamasoft (Aloha, Oregon), was, in the 1980s the most influential outliner or outline processor, and the first for CP/M.[1][2] It was a type of word processor that edited outline elements, enabling showing, hiding, promotion, demotion, and moving (cutting and pasting) of outline trees ("branches"). Each string of text occupied a "leaf". While some modern word processing programs include limited outline capability, none has the features of KAMAS. A number of outline processors exist for MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, and the Apple Mac platforms.[3] None has achieved a significant market share, or the enthusiastic user base which supported KAMAS.[citation needed]

Adam Trent was president of Kamasoft and the central figure in the development of the program. The initial price was $147.

In addition to the outline processor, KAMAS was also released with a programming language, a threaded interpreter most similar to FORTH. It was found to be "complex and not easily learned," and most purchasers of KAMAS never used it.[4]

A simpler version without the programming facilities, Out-Think, was released in 1986.[5] The code was retooled for 8080 and NEC V20 and V30 compatibility (KAMAS required a Zilog Z80). The price was $69.95; the price for KAMAS had dropped to $99.95.

Some disks of auxiliary utility programs were sold.[6]

KAMAS, released in 1984, was the last important application written for the CP/M operating system.[citation needed] Its "home" computer was the Kaypro. An MS-DOS version was released, without the programming language.

The only output was print, or an untagged file image of the printed output, which required extensive editing to import into a word processing program. Except for a limited export in the MS-DOS version to other outline processors such as ThinkTank, there was no file export mechanism preserving the outline structure, nor did any third party develop a converter.


  1. ^ James LaRue (September 2001). "A Blast from the Past: Classic Outliners". Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  2. ^ James LaRue (February 18, 2002). "Outliners Redux". Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  3. ^ They are reviewed by Allen Kent, "Computer Programs: Outliners", Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Volume 48, Supplement 12, CRC Press, 1991, ISBN 0256116997, pp. 175-220, by John Redmood, "Overview of Windows Outlining Programs," no date, but states "not updated since 2004," http://john.redmood.com/organizers.html, retrieved 2014-09-07, and the two articles of LaRue already cited.
  4. ^ Mark Renne, "KAMAS. The first outline processor for CP/M machines", Infoworld, October 8, 1984, pp. 64-66, retrieved September 2015 and http://chiclassiccomp.org/docs/content/computing/Kamasoft/KamasInfoWorldAarticleFlyerOct8_984.pdf, retrieved September 2015
  5. ^ Advertisement published in Profiles (Kaypro Corporation's magazine), Volume 4, No. 1, July, 1986, p. 19, archived at https://archive.org/stream/PROFILES_Volume_4_Number_1_1986-07_Kaypro_Corp_US#page/n19/mode/2up, retrieved September 2015. It was reviewed in the same issue, Ted Silveira, "Idea Processors", pp. 21-26.
  6. ^ Untitled, http://gopherproxy.meulie.net/gopher.floodgap.com/0/archive/walnut-creek-cd-simtel/LAMBDA/CATALOG.TXT, retrieved September 2015; untitled, http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/cdrom/_BBS/WC30/ALLFILES.TXT, retrieved September 2015

Further reading[edit]

  • Jonathan Price, Outline Goes Electronic, Ablex, 1999, ISBN 1567503780

External links[edit]