If you examine about the background of private computing, you listen to a handful of common names like Microsoft, Apple, and even Commodore. But there had been a host of firms that ended up perfectly recognised and perfectly regarded back then that are all but forgotten currently. Godbout computing, Ohio Scientific, and Southwest Technological Solutions (SWTP). SWTP is likely best remembered for acquiring a rather low cost printer and “TV typewriter”, but they also created a 6800-based mostly pc and [Adrian] takes us inside of of just one.
The 6800 was Motorola’s entry into the microprocessor fray, competing with the Intel 8080. The personal computer came out scant months after the introduction of the well-known Altair 8800. Whilst the Altair is frequently credited as getting the first hobbyist-grade laptop or computer, there had been a several earlier kinds primarily based on the 8008, but the Altair was the first to be successful.
The SWTP was noteworthy for its working day for its blank physical appearance. Most pcs in people days had lots of switches and lights. The SWTP has a blank front with only a power switch and a reset button. A ROM observe let you use the machine with a terminal. For about the exact same selling price as a bare-bones Altair that experienced no interfaces or memory, you could decide just one of these up with most of the extras you would need to have. The memory was only 2K, but that was 2K additional than you obtained with an Altair at that selling price position.
The $450 seems rather affordable, but in the early 70s, that was a great deal of lawns to mow. Of system, though you’d require to include memory to the Altair, you’d have to add some form of terminal to the SWTP. Nonetheless, you’d wind up with a little something additional usable but the full invoice was possibly likely to strategy $1,000 to get a operating procedure.
Inside the box were being some old-fashioned-seeking Personal computer boards and connectors that will search acquainted to any one who has been inside of 1970s gear. Will it get the job done? We never know nonetheless, but we hope it does. [Adrian] claims that will be in the subsequent video clip.
It is wonderful how considerably we’ve come in fewer than 50 several years. A postage-stamp sized $10 personal computer now has adequate pace and memory to emulate a bunch of these aged machines all at once. The SWTP has been on our web pages in advance of. A whole lot of these outdated machines and providers are all but neglected, but not by us!