BallyAlley_r1_c1.gif BallyAlley_r1_c2.gif BallyAlley_r1_c4.gif
BallyAlley_r2_c1.gif BallyAlley_r2_c2.gif "Cursor" and "BASIC Express" Newsletters BallyAlley_r2_c4.gif

     Cursor (later called BASIC Express) is an excellent newsletter, on par with the Arcadian, that was created in 1980 as a for profit newsletter to focus more on hardware than the Arcadian was currently doing. The Cursor's publisher went through various methods of "copy-protecting" the print (blue ink, and awful colors that made it difficult to read). I have been unable to contact Fred Cornett (the publisher) or anyone that was part of the Cursor Group. Anyone know where to find any of these people?

     Special thanks go to Rob Mitchell for photocopying and sending me all these issues issues of Cursor.

The Newsletters

CURSOR ? no. ? (1980): 1-2. This 2-page issue of "Cursor" was sent to subscribers (possibly to hold them over until an actual newsletter is released). It thanks them for their patience and includes two BASIC type-in games, Biorhythms and Moon Landing. These two games had been a joint release on tape by Cursor and Sebree's Computing.
CURSOR 1, no. 1 (January 1980): 1-2. (Alternate Version) This is a letter from Fred Cornett, the editor of "Cursor." Included is a sample 2-page issue of "Cursor."
CURSOR 1, no. 1 (January 1980): 1-8. This is the first full issue of the "Cursor" newsletter.
CURSOR 1, no. 2 (February 1980): 9-16.  
CURSOR 1, no. 3 (March 1980): 17-24.  
CURSOR 1, no. 3S (March 1980): 1-4.  
CURSOR 1, no. 4 (April/May): 25-32.  
CURSOR 1, no. 5 (June 1980): 33-40.  
CURSOR 1, no. 6 (July 1980): 41-48.  
CURSOR 2, no. 1 (August 1980): 49-56. CURSOR 2, no. 1 (August 1980): 49-56.

This issue of the Cursor newsletter used methods to help prevent people from photocopying and sharing it. Pages 52 and 53 of August 1980's issue of Cursor are notoriously difficult to read. The ink used on these two pages, which contained programs to type in, was light blue with orange bands running the length of the page. This was done as a means of copy protection; it made photocopying the newsletter much more difficult.

This means that all the scans online were created from photocopies. In about 2000 or so, someone, I believe it was Tony Miller, helpfully sent me these two pages that were scanned from his originals. He even went through the trouble of working with the pages and making them as readable as was possible. Those pages are included in the complete B&W newsletter.

In the Bob Fabris Collection there were photocopies of pages 52 and 53 that may be more readable. I scanned them in grayscale, lossless TIFF format and then created a lossless pdf document of both pages. This 2-page document is 7.85MB for only two pages (vs 607 KB for the entire Cursor newsletter!). However, if you need them, then they are available.

Until July 2021, I never had access to scans of the original issues of this newsletter. Thanks to Nate Reeder for providing me with a color scan from his original issue.
  1. CURSOR 2, no. 1 (August 1980): 49-56. - B&W Version [for Archival purposes only]
  2. CURSOR 2, no. 2 (September 1980): 52-53. - Grayscale Version [for Archival purposes only]
CURSOR 2, no. 2 (September 1980): 57-64.  
CURSOR 2, no. 3 (October 1980): 65-72.  
CURSOR 2, no. 4 (November/December 1980): 73-80.  
CURSOR 2, no. 5 (January/February 1980): 81-90.  
CURSOR 2, no. 6 (March 1981): 91-98.  
BASIC Express, The 3, no. 1 (April 1981): 1-12. This is the first issue known as "The BASIC Express" instead of "Cursor.'
BASIC Express, The 3, no. 2 (May/June 1981): 13-24.  
BASIC Express, The 3, no. 3 (July/August 1981): 25-36. This is the last issue of the "Cursor/BASIC Express" newsletter.

Newsletter Related

Cursor Business Card Cursor Business Card - A scan of a business card used by Cursor.
Cursor Group Advertisement "Cursor Group" advertisement from unknown date.

CursorOneYearAnniversaryLetter Cursor Tiny Micro Computer News Services: One-Year Anniversary Letter
By The Cursor Group.

This one-page letter begins, "The Cursor Group was established one year ago to serve all of the needs of the Bally Arcade owner. We are the Manufacturers Representative of AstroVision, (they bought the Consumer Products Division of Bally), and all of the sometimes hard to find Bally Cartridges and products may be purchased through our office." The letter continues, "Our over 6,000 subscribers all have varying computer experience, ranging from 'no experience at all to computer professional.'"

This letter informs potential subscribers of the newsletter of the "Special Introductory [...] subscription rate is $9.75 for six months."

Cursor Solicitation Letter

Reply from Michigan Bally Users Group

Cursor Solicitation Letter
Michigan Bally Users Group letter regarding Cursor solicitation
Circa 1982

In 1982 The Cursor Group mailed out a letter to solicitate more members. The Michigan Bally Users Group got wind of this and replied in quite a negative manner by sending out a letter of their own to members of their group. This makes for very interesting reading, because the end of the Cursor/BASIC Express newsletter ended very badly, and this document from that period shows how it all was beginning to crumble apart for the editor of Cursor.

You can read a text version of the Cursor Solicitation Letter, here.

You can read a text version of the reply to the Cursor Solicitation Letter from the Michigan Bally Users Group, here.

Cursor Newsletter (7-10-1980)(Fred Cornett)(Renewal Letter to Bob Fabris) "Cursor" Renewal Letter.
By Fred Cornett.
July 10, 1980.

This letter was sent to remind "Cursor" newsletter subscribers to renew to the second volume of the newsletter. A 10% discount is promised for those that renew early.
  1. "Cursor" Renewal Letter - Text Format
Cursor, Volume I Index Cursor, Volume I Index: Issues 1-6 (January - July 1980)
By Cursor: The Tiny Micro Computer News Service (Fred Cornett).
Compiled by Melanie Premo Hall).

This two-page index includes a list of: Articles, Classifieds, Hardware, Books and Products, Programs (Listed by Name and Author), Tutorials, Charts and Other Interesting Stuff and User Group News and Vendors.

Letter from Bob Fabris to Fred Cornett (7-21-1980) Letter to Fred Cornett.
By Bob Fabris.
July 21, 1980.

"I notice that you have gone to the yellow paper, I guess as a deterrent to the repro route. How much of a problem is that???

"I would like to open a line of communication with you regarding various peripherals now (and future) in the works. It seems to me that our prime responsibility is to the poor Arcade owner, most of whom bought their machine in anticipation of some sort of Bally add-on. We, together, should ensure that the "things" we are working on are compatible with each other and probably should not be exact duplicates. Let me expand a bit.

I note that you are working on a keyboard, as I am also. Near as I can tell, they are certainly not identical pieces of end-item, may even "attach" to the Bally by different methods, and as such, will provide the owner with a choice, and therefore be beneficial to him.
  1. Letter from Bob Fabris to Fred Cornett (July 21, 1980) - Text Format
BallyAlley_r4_c1.gif BallyAlley_r4_c2.gif BallyAlley_r4_c4.gif