[LMB] OT: Moldy Oldies

Peter H. Granzeau pgranzeau at cox.net
Sat May 6 19:22:54 BST 2006

At 09:42 AM 5/6/2006, Paul Stratton wrote:
> > I do
> > think the management at DEC missed the mark when they didn't
> > repackage the LSI-11 as a desktop instead of a rack mount and
> > push them out ahead of IBM. The OS was certainly more stable
> > than DOS 1.
>DEC actually put out a deskside unit that weighed 50+ pounds and was around
>$5500 and up.

DEC did put out three nearly identical desktops in 1982:  The Rainbow 
100, the DECMate II, and the PRO-350.

The Rainbow 100 had the Intel chips, and ran as (1) a VT-220 
terminal, (2) a CP/M machine, or (3) an 8086 computer running either 
CP/M-86 or MS-DOS.  It suffered from an odd keyboard, and 
incompatible disk media (a 400K single sided disk, at a time that PC 
users all had 360K double sided disks).

The DECMate II, contained a 6120 chip (the PDP-8 instruction set)--it 
was a popular dedicated Word Processor at the time.

The Pro-350 contained the LSI-11 chip, and I don't know much else about it.

All three of these computers suffered from one major 
disadvantage:  incompatible disk media (an 80 track single sided 
floppy disk), for which DEC refused to supply a formatting 
program.  They expected users to buy preformatted disks from DEC.  I 
owned a TRS-80 Model 4 at the time and could have formatted those 
disks (I had a pair of 80 track double sided disk drives and a 
program that could format anything up to but not including a pizza).

Regards, Pete
pgranzeau at cox.net 

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