Intellec-mds 800

From: Dave Mabry <>
Date: Sat Sep 4 11:42:25 2004

Somehow I missed the original message in this thread, but maybe I can
clear up a bit of Andy's confusion.

The Intellec MDS 800 is the development system that Intel sold to create
products on their 8080 and later processors. It was itself based on
what later became known as the "Multibus" architecture. It ran a 2MHz
8080 cpu and was standard with 16K bytes of RAM. You could add more, up
to 64K that the main cpu (the 8080) could address.

Intel sold a disk-drive subsystem that consisted of two Shugart 801 8"
floppy drives. They could work as single density or double density
depending on whether you had the 201 or 202 controller board set. Yes,
it was a set of TWO multibus board to control those two floppy drives.

Gary Kildall wrote the CP/M operating system for that computer and Intel
also sold their own called ISIS-II (there might have been an ISIS
without the II, but I never knew of it).

The system that Steve mentions here with an integrated CRT and keyboard
has to be the follow-on product from Intel called the MDS Series II, a
different, but compatible, system from the MDS-800. The 800 needed an
external terminal.

There is much more, and if Andy wants to e-mail me directly I can give
him much more information. Joe Rigdon and Tony Duell are authorities on
these systems and they will likely offer their own information.

Good luck with that classic, Andy.


Steven N. Hirsch wrote:

> On Thu, 2 Sep 2004, Andy Allaway wrote:
>>I am considering buying a classic pc. The one I might buy is the intellec mds
>>800. It comes with a drive also. I dont know much about vintage pc's but
>>would love to be like you all. I thought starting with one of the best pc's
>>would be good. So my question is, if I were to buy this pc, what type of
>>monitor/keyboard do I hook up to it? Where can I get one?
> I'm not an authority on the MDS800, but the one I have is actually
> integral with the display and came with a keyboard. Certainly, I'm able
> to use it without an RS232 terminal.
>>ps, if I buy this intellec, what can I do with it?
> Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you have to ask that question
> you may want to reconsider buying it. The MDS800 provided a complete
> hardware and software environment for developing products using some of
> the older Intel CPUs. It is not really what I'd think of as being a "pc".
> Steve

Dave Mabry   
Dossin Museum Underwater Research Team
Received on Sat Sep 04 2004 - 11:42:25 BST

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