The SMC 70 was, like its successor, the SMC 70G designed for professional video applications. It was the first computer in the world to use 3.5" floppy disk, created a little earlier by Sony.
The graphic and character display screens are controlled separately, the screen can be changed instantly from character to graphics, and so forth. There are four display surfaces in the 160 x 100 mode.
Fun fact: This computer was briefly seen being used by the alien-human hybrid child Elisabeth in the V:The Final Battle miniseries.
New information from Randall Solem:
The SMC-70 is only capable of producing 1 voice. It has a 3-position switch on the side allowing you to boot from the internal ROM (Allows you access to several functions including a Sony ROM BASIC), the disk, or a plug-in ROM card of some sort (I never saw one). The RGB Multi Out is a proprietary connector used for a monitor with a built-in speaker. There is a 4-way switch visible on the front of the computer which allows 3 volume levels and OFF for the built-in speaker.
Grahame Weinbren experience:
I used the SMC-70 for my first interactive art work, "The Erl King." The computer controlled 3 laser disc players through a multi port serial controller, a custom designed cuts only switcher. Navigation through the videodisc material was through a touch screen.
Widely condered the first interactive video artwork, "The Erl King" was exhibited at museums and galleries all over the world, and has been acqured this year (2004) for the Guggenheim Museum collection. They are also emulating the piece digitally for preservation purposes.
Keypad and floppy drives, by Jack Ungerleider:
This is one of the first computers someone actually paid me to program. I've got plenty of stories but I'll keep it to things that relate to the system and its use.
First off the key pad port was an oddball. It was simply contact points for switch closure. This came in handy for "alternative" input devices. The big problem was getting plugs to fit the port.
I can't tell if the drive unit on the pictured machine has "Auto Shutter" printed on the front. Many of the early systems had this. The first generation of 3.5" drives used manual shutter disks. When the auto shutter mechanism was introduced the diskettes where made so you could still lock the shudder open for manual drives. Also in 1984 We had an use getting the Sony dual drive unit. It seems Apple was buying up all the 3.5" drives the Macintosh and Sony could keep up enough to make there own products.
Thanks to Maurice Turgeon for the pictures.
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Full-stroke keyboard, 72 keys with editing and arrow keys
32 KB + 2KB Character RAM
40 x 25
160 x 100 /
16 / 4 (640 x 200) / 640 x 400 (monochrom)
? voices, 5 octaves
RS 23C, Tape, Light Pen, Key Pad, Audio output, RGB Multi Out, B/W Multi Out, I/O Expansion connector, Centronics.