Northstar Horizon

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Tue Nov 2 12:28:33 1999

The N* Horizon was a late entry in the S-100 market, and, though it was
priced competitively with CROMEMCO and VECTOR GRAPHICS systems, it didn't
come in at a lower price than component systems using boards purchased
individually based on comparison-shopping for the best price/function
tradeoff. As I mentioned previously, I used the SD Systems or CCS boards.
Both of these CPU's included an on-board serial port which was used by the
firmware as the console port. What's more, their FDC's handled both drive
sizes, albeit in soft-sectored format only, straight out of the box.

I don't remember the details of the comparison shopping ventures, but would
not have used individually chosen boards or, in the case of CCS, board sets,
if there were no price advantage. The CCS board set was always quite
trouble-free, and the SD Systems memory boards were the only boards of
theirs that ever gave me headaches, though that was seldom.

The N* didn't work well with KONAN (SMD) or MSC HDC's either. I didn't
investigate this full, however. It didn't work, well, on to the next one.


-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 9:55 AM
Subject: Re: Northstar Horizon

>On Tue, 2 Nov 1999, Richard Erlacher wrote:
>> Yes, there were several ways in which the N* could be modified to work
>> better and meet the target of providing a full 64K TPA and handling CP/M
>> standard diskettes.
>> The easiest way, however, was to use hardware from other MFG's, which
>> require modification. It happens that hardware from other MFG's was less
>> costly as well.
>Well in 1978 (early) that was not the case, sure there were lots of
>players and junk but the minifloppy was still quite new and people were
>not quite able to get clear of sticker shock for 32k of ram!
>The NS* was a good cpu, good box (backplane and basic serial/parallel IO)
>That for the price was good. There were other boxes, but the really nice
>stuff I lusted for were appearing in the early 80s. By then the NS* was
>hard at work (with upgrades).
Received on Tue Nov 02 1999 - 12:28:33 GMT

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