Kaypro 10

From: Don Maslin <donm_at_cts.com>
Date: Wed Sep 8 14:28:02 1999

On Wed, 8 Sep 1999, Jim wrote:

I'll intersperse a few comments as I recall the facts differently.
> Yes, your 2X was (probably) originally a KayPro 4! The KayPro 4, now I
> remember, originally added a modem and clock and more software (dBaseII I
> think) to my cheaper original 2X. There was also a big thing being made
> about the "inverse video" in 1984, which made it easier to read the WordStar
> menus. I think the -84's all came with the new 360K double sided disc
> drives. The -83 mostly had the 180K single sided drives.

Actually, the DS drives have always had a 390k capacity by virtue of using
ten 512 byte sectors per track. Both the 4/83 and 10/83 were DS equipped.
The II/2 was SS at 195k (nominal).
> Also, the 1984's were the first to come with WordStar and the other MicroPro
> software bundled. In 1983, they shipped with PerfectWriter or something
> like that. In July of 1984 I think I remember KayPro offered a KayPro 2,
> with 2 double sided 360K disc drives and PerfectWriter software at about
> $1200.

Yup! Perfect Calc/Filer/Writer, and The Word +.
> Then the 2x, which added the Micropro software bundle (WordStar, DataStar,
> CalcStar, the graphics or inverse video display capabilities all for a song
> at about $1500. ( The IBM PC was about $2500 then and you needed a display
> and even had to purchase PC-Dos to go with it! KayPro was the first to
> bundle operating systems and software with any machines I think. Well, the
> Macintosh was out but it seemed to have severe memory shortage to me in
> 1984.)
> After the KayPro 2x in the line came the Kaypro 4-84 with the 300 Bd modem
> and dBaseII and something called a real time clock. That cost you close to
> $2000 and I decided to leave it. For $500 I would type in my own dates until
> I upgraded in 1993. I feel asleep once reading CompuServe at 300 Bd and
> decided to let the modem go also. (I had to buy a Hayes 300 a year later
> for $250 though.)
> Next came the KayPro 10 with a 10 Mb hard drive that I couldn't fathom
> anybody needing in 1984. Besides, a Kaypro 10 set you back almost $2800,
> most of that increase was for that hard drive.
> That line quickly was changed as the 4 became the 2x, and the 2x became the
> 2 again and they added a Kaypro 1 which only had one disk drive and a small
> amount of software. They all were really the same machine as far as I could
> tell. The differences only being the number of disk drives and the hard
> drive in the -10.

There were also 2/84s that were equipped with half high single sided
drives - Newtronics, IIRC. Functionally, the motherboards of all of the
n/84s were capable of being outfitted to acquire the capabilities of the
most powerful(?) the K-10. The traces were all there and only required
insertion of the components and change of ROM for HD capability.

The one thing that I never comprehended, though, was why they continued to
make two versions of the motherboard that differed only in the location of
the RJ-11 jacks, as nearly as I can tell. The K-10 boards had them
adjacent on the left back edge, while the rest were one on each end of the
back edge. Seemed like a waste to produce both versions when using the
same pattern for all would also have eliminated the different punchout
requirements in the casees.
> I think the KayPro's were attractive to people like me as they came with all
> the operating software you needed. It was all in one box that was real easy
> to set up, and it worked. The price seemed cheap compared to what you got
> with the IBM's and Apples.
> At the time, if you bought an IBM or compatable, your second purchase was
> the operating system, MS or PC DOS, and then WordStar for about $200.
> I think KayPro's next machine was the 16, which was an IBM PC clone, in
> about the middle of 1985.

Interesting, but never successful.

Prior to that, however, were the Robie and the Kaypro 4X. The Robie which
was known by some as Darth Vader's lunchbox utilized the Drivetec 192tpi
drives that required pre-formatted diskettes with a recorded servo track.
Their native capacity was about 2.8mb. Robies were not big sellers
either, so the surplus Drivetec drives were installed in normal Kaypro
boxes and labeled 4X with a quarter sized stick on label that said only
'X'. The major problem with the Drivetec equipped machines was that the
diskettes were extremely susceptable to damage from dust or ???.

> I moved to Prescott, Arizona in 1988 and was surprised to see that there
> were still KayPro dealers selling the cp/m KayPro's in small town America.
> They had dissapeared off the shelves in Los Angeles long before then.
> It is interesting to see how much you can remember about these things. I
> might be wrong on some of it and would be interested in your corrections.

I cannot speak to the prices, but I think that your figures are certainly
in the ballpark.
> Regards,
> Jim,
> Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it
> not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the
> moment. --Mark Twain

                                                 - don
Received on Wed Sep 08 1999 - 14:28:02 BST

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