The P6060 was a computer which looked like a typewriter. It had a built-in thermal printer (80 column, 80 character per second). This printer featured graphics supported by system software for scaling, framing, offsetting, axis drawing and alphanumeric labeling.
The P6060 could be programmed with a special extended version of the BASIC language which featured random and sequential file handling and matrix operations.
There were two models: the basic configuration with 8KB user RAM and a single FDD was priced at $7950 and the enhanced configuration with 16 KB user RAM and dual floppy disk cost $10,000 (and you think your computer was expensive!).
Chris Marshall adds:
I worked for Olivetti for many years and can confirm that the processor for this machine was a two card Olivetti designed processor. The cards were called PUCE1 and PUCE2. The same cards were used in the TC800 data terminal machine widely used by the UK banks during the late 1970's and early 1980's
Phil Williams's memories:
At the age of 10 I cut my computer teeth on a P6060. My father paid over 6,000 uk pounds for one ($10,000) - and this was 1977.
Programs were stored on the 8-inch floppies and compiled when the "Run" button was pressed - you can see the 7 push buttons above the keypad. Display was a dot-matrix. Printer was 80 chars - and thermal, which meant costly to run. There was a driving game that involved printing out a track on the printer and you pressing the left or right button to keep your X on the road. Wasted oodles of paper!
Olivetti did offer a VDU display card, which I think cost more than the 6000 pounds for the machine!
I still have the P6060 - and 30 years on it still works!
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.
I worked for Olivetti and had one of the first 6060''s in the US. The manual was in Italian so I had ASU interpet it. One thing I remember was the interpetation had bites and nibbles which later became bytes and bits. Not many schools had experience with computers then. After learning the system I was sent to various regions to teach the 6060 and the basic language to other sales reps. Big uses were for Statistics, land surveying calculations, and computing auto contracts.
Tuesday 6th April 2010
Jim Freiman (USA)
I used a P6060 when I worked at Kimball. I used it for NC programming which at the time - about 1977-1981 was pretty cutting edge. I did all the music panel programming for pianos and organs - the thing that holds the music - which was usually a series of freeform curves. A great computer - unless the floppy drives got dirty!! A great machine with great memories.
Thursday 30th September 2010
I used to work for an Engineering company in the late 1970's and I used two of these machines to perform drive belt power calculations and stock control. I did my first real business programming on these before moving onto an M-PM based machine and then onto LSI Octopus machines. I remmember when we upgraded the memory on one of the Olivetti's and it cost £3000. There was a lunar lander game and also a golf game which we had, used loads of paper !!.
Monday 26th December 2005
Steve Oatway (UK)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Special version of BASIC
97 keys with numeric keypad, arrow and function keys
two card Olivetti processor
40 KB up to 80 KB (32 KB reserved for the O.S. loaded from the FDD)