These computers were generally sold for specific professionnal use along with the appropriate software.
Two models were launched: the Sord MK II 203 and
Sord MK II 223. The difference is that the 223 has 3 x S100 slots for easy expansion. Both have a special DMA channel for the disks (floppy and hard disk).
Some software was sold with them, which included the MFDOS, several Sord BASIC's, a compiled Basic (C-Basic) and many tools. The Fortran IV and the Cobol were also available.
For the M-223 and its S100 slots, 2 extensions were sold :
- A graphic card with high-resolution and 8 colors
- A/D and D/A convertor (16 x 12 bits channels for input and 2 x 8 bits channels for output)
Joe Hernandez remembers:
I remember introducing them in Puerto Rico in 1980 at a great celebration in the Sheraton Hotel in a conference organized by J. R. Hernandez & Associates, Inc (my company at the time), together with the Electronic Information Systems Directors Association (ADSEI in Spanish).
I programmed them in a language MicroCobol (a mix of basic and cobol) developed by a London Company of which I don't remember the name at this moment. We were converting their accounting system from the British to the American accounting method since there was no business system in English on those days for the PC. IBM introduced their first PC 5051 in 1981.
The retail price without software at that time was $12,800.00 plus another $5,000.00 for the whole integrating accounting system... - I never took off in this venture ;(
Harvey Platter specifies:
MicroCobol was the development language for BOS (Business Operating System). It was actually COBOL with the formating requirements stripped out and support for low level and system programming added.
MicroCobol compiled to an intermediate code, rather like the, then popular, P-Code or modern Java but altogether more efficient than either. BOS itself was written in MicroCobol and was very quick, even on a 2MHz Z80. The system was amazingly portable, each target system only requiring around 2KB of machine code to bootstrap BOS. Code was 100% cross compatible across hardware, something unheard of at the time.
Unfortunately, the marketing of the product was poor and it was swept away by the rise of the PC, which was a pity as some of its nicer features are only now being realised on, for example, Linux.