North Star Horizon

From: Allison J Parent <>
Date: Sat May 16 08:22:31 1998

<Apple Lisa Web Page:
<I have own a NorthStar Horizon very nice little computer abit heavy, mine
<in the wooden box and has a pair of 5 1/4" floppy drives in the front an
<yes it runs off an terminal.....

Of course it does, mine has for 20 years!

<mine even has full docs and the origianl receipt of purchates from aroun

Try '78 or very late 77 as the MDS floppy predated the horizon.

<many of the cards inside it arom from an Altair if my memory is correct..
<A VDM -1? i think thats whats its called...anyway in the manual for this
<video card it has the source code for the programmng code for a Altair an
<IMSAl mechines....

Yes, still have my VDM-1 (from 1976) and the docs for it. Originally used
in my altair.

Brief history: I started with S100 in 1975 with the order of my altair
(box, 4k, acr and PIO) assembled it in early january 1975. Here in the US
the article was December 1974, I ordered as soon as I recieved the
magazine (Popular electronics), so it has a low serial number. Over time
It was extended with more ran and a VDM-1. Within a few months the NS*
MDS floppy was offered and I bought the kit, still have that too. The
Altair with it's noisy bus was not reliable and I was tiring of it's poor
power supply (despite mods), poor cooling and flimsy box. When NS
introduced the Horizon I ordered the s100 box kit (back then metal top was
optional!) and the CPU to get a z80 and transfered my ram, MDS floppy,
VDM-1, ACR, PIO to the NS* horizon case in early 1978. Less than a year
later I would add a Heath H19, Anadex dp800 printer and more ram.

Now twenty years later I still have the Horizon and the H19 in use nearly
daily with a softsector floppy and a teltek HDC. The MDS floppy, DP800
and VDM-1 are used with another system less freqently (installed in a
Netronics explorer 8085). I might add the three SA400s still work just
fine. Most of the altair stuff is stored, front pannel is good for debug
but otherwise too unreliable. I built the NS* Horizon as it was the first
system I'd seen in late '77 that looked like 24x7x365 was possible. Over
the years it would be altered, restored to original and hit by lightening
twice...and it's still ticking.

<only around 30,000 of these fine mechines where ever built so i would sa
<that they are very rare these days....

They are common enough in the USA being made in California.

Received on Sat May 16 1998 - 08:22:31 BST

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