NEW PRODUCTS (May, 1982)

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High-resolution computer, HP-87, has user memory that can be increased from a built-in 32K bytes to 544K bytes The system comes with 32K bytes of user RAM. 48K bytes of Basic language in ROM, and 16K bytes of RAM devoted to the display. User RAM can be increased to a maximum of 544K bytes with HP memory modules, which come in increments of 32K, 64K, or 128K bytes of RAM Prices range from $3,995 to $7,995. Hewlett-Packard, 1820 Embarcadero Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94303.


Pocket computer, model PC-2, offers capability for internal expansion with plug-in RAM and/or ROM modules, and for external expansion through a 60-pin I/O bus connector. The unit features a 16K-byte ROM Extended Basic language interpreter with the ability to process words and messages, programmable function keys and an LCD display with upper-, lower-case, scientific and user-definable characters All memory information is retained even when power is off. Computer measures 1-1/16 by 7-11/16 by 3-3/8 in. Price is less than $300. Tandy/Radio Shack, 1800 One Tandy Center, Fort Worth, TX 76102 CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 221.

16-bit microcomputer, ACS8600, is based on the Intel 8086 microprocessor. The system provides up to a million bytes of main (RAM) memory, plus online floppy and Winchester hard disk storage from 1-80M bytes The basic system, with 512K bytes of main memory, a 10M-byte hard disk and floppy disk backup, lists for $12,990, while the same system with dual floppy storage of 1M-byte, no hard disk, and 128K bytes of main memory is $8,990. Altos Computer Systems, 2360 Bering Dr., San Jose, CA 95131, (408) 946-6700.-CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 222.

Business computer systems, series 5000, provide an upgrade path for users of Mercator’s existing series 3000 and 4000 products, giving large memory and disk storage configurations, as well as supporting up to sixteen simultaneous users. Software compatibility and media interchangeability with Mercator’s existing products facilitate upgrade. The architecture of the series is based on a multiple processor design, utilizing the 8086 and 8087 sixteen-bit microprocessors. In its basic configuration, the MBS5000 is provided with eight serial ports and one parallel port, 128K Ram, 80M bytes of Winchester disk storage and a 12M-byte, 1/4-in. cartridge tape drive for transaction logging, backup and program load. The system may be expanded to sixteen serial ports in one eight-port increment. Hard disk storage is expandable to 169M bytes, and memory is expandable in 128K increments up to a maximum of 1M-byte. Both the disk and memory employ error-correcting techniques to ensure data integrity. In its basic configuration with single display unit, 160cps matrix printer, 128K RAM, 12M-byte tape drive, and 80M-byte disk, the price is $35,000. Mercator Business Systems, 1294 Lawrence Station Rd., Sunnyvale, CA 94086, (408) 734-5134. CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 223.

Intelligent data base machine, the IDM 200, is a low-cost version of the high-performance IDM 500. It is a complete relational data base management system based on hardware designed specifically for this purpose. Located between computer and disks, the system offloads the task of data base management from the general purpose computer, greatly increasing the speed of relational data base management functions. Standard features include data dictionary, audit log, concurrency control, transaction management, security, and crash recovery. It can address data bases of up to nearly 3-billion bytes. The system can support up to 128 users. Price: $35,000. Britton Lee, Albright Way, Los Gatos, CA 95030, (408) 378-7000. CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 224.

Handheld personal computer, model PC-1500, features a 7-by-156 programmable dot matrix liquid crystal display, an extended Basic language operating system capable of handling two-dimensional arrays, variable string lengths, program chaining, full graphic commands and many other functions. It has 16K bytes of system ROM and 2.6K bytes (expandable to 6.6K bytes) of user-available RAM. The unit can also generate a full upper and lower case ASCII character set, as well as providing user-definable function keys for rapid programming and operation. The optional printer provides four-color graphic capability, nine different character sizes, bi-directional line feed and x,y plotting capability. The printer also incorporates a dual cassette interface for program and data storage/retrieval. Sharp Electronics Corp., 10 Sharp Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652, (201) 265-5600. CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 225.

Hard disk microcomputer, Quay 910 series, features a 10M-byte Winchester hard disk; faster operating speed; a double-sided, double density backup of 1.25M bytes of floppy; single sided, single density 8-in. diskette to double-sided, double density 8-in. diskette compatibility; on/off key lock reset control; single cabinet design—and both single user and multi-user versions. Other standard features are: Winchester disk and heads; brushless D C. spindle drive motor; reserve area on disk surface for head landing and takeoff; single board Z80A based microcomputer; IBM 3740 compatibility; and expansion to 33 and 66M-byte Winchester disk drives. Quay Corp., Box 783, 527 Industrial Way West, Eatontown, NJ 07724.


Business computer, system 12B, contains 328K of memory and supports four simultaneous users. It employs a 10M-byte fixed/removable hard disk drive, which can support a total of several hundred megabytes of online disk storage.

The system employs the Multi-user SDOS Operating System and runs the complete library of MSI business software modules. System prices start at $2,495. Midwest Scientific Instruments, 220 W Cedar, Olathe, KS 66061, (913) 764-3273.


Desktop computer, model JD-850M, has been developed to cover a wide range of business applications by making it possible to use with a large variety of software currently available on the world market. It can serve on its own or as an on-line terminal for other computers. Features include a separate-type keyboard with an improved key arrangement, a 12-in., non- glare CRT display, two 8-in. double-sided floppy disk drives, an optional parallel interface, GP-IB (IEEE-488), a magnetic tape for memory back-up, and an optional buzzer and interval timer device for operating ease. It can be programmed with a Basic interpreter, a Basic compiler or an 8085 Assembler. Price: $8,000. Panasonic, One Panasonic Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094, (201) 348-5337.


Small business computer features high-resolution color graphics. The BMC if800 system is a fully-integrated work station with keyboard, printer, mass storage disk drives, high-resolution color display, a Z80A microprocessor for speed, and CP/M for convenience. WordStar, SuperCalc, Multiplan, and other CP/M-based programs are also available. Price: less than $12,000. BMC Computer Corp., 860 Walnut St., Carson, CA 90746, (213) 323-2600.


Preprogrammed computer, the 8018 II, provides cost-effective, business-based management decisions provided to end-users through a turnkey system. Preprogrammed application packages include such areas as distribution and wholesale, construction and contracting, and container-manufacturing. Software is written in Basic. Mitsubishi Electronics America, Computer Div., 2200 W. Artesia Blvd., Compton, CA 90220, (213) 979-6055. CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 230.

CP/M-compatible system is a multiuser, multiprocessor, multitasking unit, complete with an uninterruptable power supply. It can eliminate computer down time due to short-term power interruptions, electrical powerline transients, voltage spikes—even lightening. Power is maintained for up to 20 minutes without A.C. input. The Zeus II power supply, which consists of batteries, a battery charger, and a set of D.C.-to-D.C. converters that produce all internal D C. voltages, is located in one of the stackable modules which form the computer. Modular form allows for custom configurations for each application. Hard disk storages from 34M bytes to 600M bytes are available along with a 20M-byte cartridge drive for backup. OSM Computer Corp., 2364 Walsh Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95051, (800) 538-5120.


Portable terminal system produces print copy at 120 characters-per-second. Execuport 4120 has a 16-element columnar printhead that produces virtually solid, high resolution characters and permits printing below the line with no paper movement and no decrease in throughput speed. It is equipped with two character fonts, 9 by 11-in. and 5 by 7-in. The terminal system can also be customized to reproduce such specialized character sets as Japanese (Katakana), Arabic, Greek and Italic. Computer Transceiver Systems, Box 15, East 66 Midland Ave., Paramus, NJ 07652, (201) 261-6800. CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 232.

Upgrade board set for the TRS-80 model II provides it with 16-bit, dual-processor, multi-user power. The model 16 Enhancement Option gives Model II owners all of the advantages of a Motorola MC68000 16-bit CPU with 128K bytes of user memory, including dual processors (MC68000 and Z80A), a multi-user operating system for simultaneous program execution, increased addressable memory (up to 256K) and faster operation with model 16 software Price: $1,499 (plus installation). Tandy/Radio Shack, 1800 One Tandy Center, Fort Worth, TX 76102, (817) 390-3300.


Portable terminal, Hotline, for the home and business market can be used to transmit and retrieve information from data bases as varied as a personal telephone directory to the New York Stock Exchange The terminal measures 1-5/8-in. by 3-9/16-in. by 6-3/4-in. and weighs less than 11 ounces, providing a truly portable means to communicate with host computer systems. The terminal combines a built-in modem with more familiar features, including an alphanumeric keyboard. The tactile keyboard consists of 43 functional keys arranged in typewriter sequence and provides a 64 upper case ASCII character set. The display is a 16-character fluorescent display, which is tilted for easy viewing. The terminal offers a 96-character display memory, which can be scrolled 16 characters at a time, and a 16-character display memory in the transmit mode. Price: under $400 Axlon, 170 N. Wolfe Rd„ Sunnyvale, CA 94086, (408) 730-0216. CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 234.

Small-format pen plotter, HP 7470, features high resolution, speed and repeatability, as well as color pens. The unit is compatible with the Hewlett-Packard series 80 and 125 personal computers, as well as with personal computers from IBM, Apple and Commodore. Price: $1,550. Hewlett-Packard, 1820 Embarcadero Rd.. Palo Alto, CA 94303.


8.4M-byte hard disk memory eliminates the need for repetitive handling of floppy disks when using different programs, since multiple programs can reside simultaneously in the hard disk system. The system incorporates Radio Shack’s TRSDOS operating system, making it immediately compatible with most existing TRS-80 model II software. All current TRSDOS library commands are available, plus two new utilities—Save and Restore. The Save utility saves data from the hard disk onto one or more back-up floppy disks; Restore writes data from a floppy disk onto the hard disk. The system incorporates two 8-in. platters, permanently sealed in a dust-free environment. Both surfaces of each platter are accessed by their own read/write heads Winchester technology assures extremely fast read/write times and highspeed data transfer. Price: $4,495. Tandy/Radio Shack, 1800 One Tandy Center, Fort Worth, TX 76102.


Floppy disk system, INSTOR/801, is for the IBM Personal Computer, using the IBM Diskette I Basic Data Exchange (3741) format. With the INSTOR/801 and IBM’s asynchronous communications adaptor card, the system can read and write an 8-in. IBM 3741 format diskette. This diskette is then compatible with any computer that uses the IBM 3741 format Price: $2,000, complete with interlacing software. INSTOR Corp., 175 Jefferson Dr., Menlo Park, CA 94025, (415) 326-9830 CIRCLE INQUIRY NO. 237.

  1. Casandro says: December 23, 20129:12 am

    You know what’s amazing? Back then they simply put BASIC interpreters into those tiny little systems, or at least some way of loading some code at runtime on them. Those little features turn a dumb microprocessor controlled device into an actual computer. To bad we don’t do that anymore.

  2. Toronto says: December 23, 20127:12 pm

    Korn or Bash shells don’t count? (Yeah, even a small Linux kernel is large compared to a ROM based monitor.)

    BTW you CAN buy credit-card sized BASIC based systems you only need to plug a keyboard/mouse, video, and power (USB) into. “MaxiMite” or “DuinoMite” for example – they start at $25 or so I head. (I have a Raspberry Pi instead, personally.)

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