Software Entrepreneurs ’84
Produced and directed by Gail Pellett
Narrated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Production Company: MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour
Presented by: WNET, New York and WETA, Washington, D.C.
Aired on: PBS     Date: 1984

Howard Marks with "Jane"

Howard Marks and Bobby Kovich, two students at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, have developed a new software program.  It’s called Jane, designed for the Commodore pc and made simple for home use — to write letters, keep budgets and maintain lists.  It utilizes picture icons rather than words.  This is 1984.   Before the web.

Marks and Kovich have formed a company called Arktronics and they not only keep studying at the university, but they sometimes hire their professors to help with their business.  This report, narrated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, is amusing to watch now some 25 years later.  But these whiz kids were confident, bold and adventurous.  And they meld complimentary and contradictory characteristics and personalities.  Howard is the software engineer.  Bobby is the production and business personality.  They have written a business plan and received start up funding from Steve Winn in Las Vegas.  This is their launch.

Bobby Kovich

Howard Marks, 25 years later

Breaking News

Howard Marks has had a highly successful career during the past 25 years as a video game developer. He revived Activision - the biggest video game developer, sold it and in 2011 launched a new game start-up, GAMZEE. I haven't been able to trace Bobby Kovich.

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