From: Lawrence Walker <lgwalker_at_look.ca>
Date: Fri Jul 14 14:30:45 2000

I've been a lurker and sometimes participant in classiccom for
some time but other than a couple of instances (one-my own query
and the other from Charley Fox, who has/had a 2001 (IIRC) ,there
has been no mention of a machine contemporary with the Altair
and that precedes the Apple One. While it was peddled as a word
processor it was indeed an 8080 box. It has a passive backplane
with 30 pin sockets and looks similiar to a PET (including the fold-
up monitor to expose the inner-workings) with a separate keyboard
connected by ribbon cable and in my case a Shugart m.802 8''
 Unfortunately I don't have a com program for it (they were available-
one was called Miconet) but I keep hoping things will pop up. It
also had a language program for it-"Micom 80"- a modified
MS Basic80 .
 I picked it up in the late 80's
 It came with a Qume Daisy-wheel printer whose separate power-
supply weighs about 50 lbs. itself (I even have a garbage-found
spare). :^)

Below are time-line references for some perspective :

March (75)
     Fred Moore and Gordon French hold the first meeting of a new
microcomputer hobbyist's club in French's garage, in Menlo Park,
California. 32 people meet, including Bob Albrect, Steve Dompier,
Lee Felsenstein, Bob Marsh, Tom Pittman, Marty Spergel, Alan
Baum, and Steven Wozniak. Bob Albrect shows off an Altair, and
Steve Dompier reports on MITS, and how they had 4000 orders for
the Altair. [185.110] [266.104] [301.55] [346.18] [353.200]
[346.257] (April [208.67] 266.39)
     Stephen Dorsey, founder of Automatic Electronic Systems,
sells his 25% of the company for $135,000. [615.98]
     Stephen Dorsey and Louis Miller found Micom Data Systems,
in Canada. [615.90]

July (75)
     Bill Gates and Paul Allen sign a licensing agreement with
MITS, for their implementation of the BASIC language. [299.8]
     Bill Gates and Paul Allen ship 4K and 8K version of BASIC
v2.0. [123]
     Dick Heiser opens Arrow Head Computer Company, subtitled
"The Computer Store", in Los Angeles, selling assembled Altairs,
boards, peripherals, and magazines. This is the first retail
computer store in the USA. [266.185] [684.41]
     Micom Data Systems ships its first product, the Micom 2000
word processing computer. [615.99]

September (75)
     IBM's Entry Level Systems unit unveils "Project Mercury", the
IBM 5100 Portable Computer. It is a briefcase-size minicomputer
with BASIC, 16KB RAM, tape storage, and built-in 5-inch screen.
Price: US$9000. Weight: 55 pounds. [9] [197.xi] (Price over
US$10,000 [203.10])
     The first issue of Byte magazine is published. [9] [266.159]

March (76)
     Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs finish work on a computer
circuit board, that they call the Apple I computer. [46]
     By the end of its first year in business, Micom Data Systems
ships 180 Micom 2000 computers, worth $2 million. [615.99]

May (78)
     Stephen Dorsey signs an agreement with Philips to sell them
80% ownership of Micom Data Systems. [615.103]

May (83)
     Philips buys out Stephen Dorsey's remaining 20% ownership of
Micom Data Systems. [615.103]

        [615] Knights of the New Technology - The Inside Story of
                 Canada's Computer Elite, by David Thomas, 1983.
** A whois search 3 years ago found Stephan Dorsey still active at:

Voice & Data Systems is the world leader in real-time, packetized
fax (TERRA FaxPAD) technology.
The president of VDS is Stephen Dorsey, one of the first
entrepreneurs to use integrated circuits in commercial applications.
Stephen has led his two previous start-ups to $200 million in
annual sales. His previous company, which was sold to Phillips NV
of Holland, had 1100 employees.

 The 2 companies they mention are Micom and AES (an early
Canadian electronics company who also made computers)

 It makes me wonder whether he might have had anything to do with
the Hyperion start-up since he was so integral to the Canadian
electronic industry.

One of their brochures(June,1981) brags about the 50 Micoms
used by NASA which were their primary word/data processors, and
were linked to the NASA's central mainframe.

 Has anyone any info on this machine ? I have a copied software
manual and some brochures and Phillips Micom newsletters.
ciao larry
Received on Fri Jul 14 2000 - 14:30:45 BST

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