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I accidentally stumbled upon a programme named Professional by a company named VIP Technologies for the Amiga computer. It seems to be a clone (a quite accurate one) of Lotus 1-2-3. I cannot locate any info on the net about it, apart from a classified ad in ebay; apparently the name of the software house and the product do not help.

It must be American, since it's NTSC only - runs on PAL but with 200 lines hard limit. In the back of the manual a DITEK company is mentioned, plus "manufactured in Canada".

Anybody knows anything about the programme or the software house? Did it sell in any decent numbers? 1-2-3 compatibility?

Regarding licensing, I suppose it was not needed, since 1-2-3 was also a clone (or relied heavily on) of VisiCalc.

Screenshots:

Initial screen

main programme

From ebay, manual:

manual, front manual, back

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  • 2
    Perhaps related to Ditek Software Corp, 60 West Wilmot St, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1M6 - may also have made "Dynacadd" a 2D and 3D personal CAD package.
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 16, 2023 at 14:10

1 Answer 1

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VIP Technologies was a company based in Santa Barbara, CA. The company president was Dave Nelson. Marketing manager Tom Nelson.

VIP Professional was released on the Apple IIc, IIe, IIgs, Amiga and Atari ST series, and there's a lot of information about the Atari version. On the Atari ST, it came in text-based and GEM versions. The Amiga version list price was $199.95. All versions were distributed/advertised by ISD Marketing Inc. InfoWorld articles mention an IBM PC version but I've yet to see an advert for it.

As you've found, it comprises a cell-based spreadsheet editor and various types of charts.

In this December 1985 episode of Computer Chronicles, Atari Marketing Manager Bryan Kerr uses VIP Professional to demonstrate the mouse-based GUI and graphics capabilities of GEM on the 520ST at 15:30. An InfoWorld article confirms why an Atari rep was demonstrating the software - Atari was in talks to distribute VP at some point but no deal was reached.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX5N8lWpqLM

enter image description here

This advert claims that VIP Pro has 'Total Lotus 1-2-3' compatibility, which includes the file format not just the formulas, and reviews seem to confirm this.

enter image description here

Jon Custer's comment is correct - "VIP Professional is a trademark of DITEK INT'L"

http://www.atarimania.com/utility-atari-st-vip-professional_28354.html

https://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n1/vipproffesional.html

There's a review on page 14 of this issue of Atari Explorer. They apparently did 'a marvellous job in producing an almost exact clone of 1-2-3', although it was slower than similar applications on other (more expensive) computers.

http://www.digitpress.com/library/magazines/atari_explorer/atari_explorer_spring87.pdf

In Amiga World Nov/Dec 1986, there's a full review of the Amiga version of VIP you're asking about:

https://archive.org/details/amiga-world-1986-11/page/n103/mode/2up on page 102.

In an episode of The Record podcast at 6:50, an ex-employee of VIP says that VIP Technologies folded because 'they didn't pay their taxes'.

http://therecord.co/2014/03/28/john_chaffee

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  • If anyone can find the Infoworld link about Atari distributing VIP, I'd appreciate it. I found it, then lost it!
    – knol
    Jan 16, 2023 at 15:23
  • So there is ISD Marketing, VIP Technologies, and Ditek Software all involved. I presume Ditek was the software house, and ISD and VIP were distribution?
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 16, 2023 at 15:42
  • I think VIP Technologies was the developer, Ditek might have been a publisher(?) and ISD a distributor.
    – knol
    Jan 16, 2023 at 16:15
  • Great info! The Atari ST - GEM version seems very polished. I found it on the net and ran it on Hatari emulator. It's fully windowed, yet Lotus 1-2-3's shortcuts ( slash and capital letters) work too. Interesting amalgamation. If Lotus had tried this early on Windows, Excel might not become the spreadsheet standard :)
    – Krackout
    Jan 17, 2023 at 7:08

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