InterSystems was the computers brand name of the Ithaca company which previously manufactured various cards for other mainframe makers.
The DPS-1 is based on the S-100 bus. It seems to be a copy of the Altair 8800 and Cromemco Z-1 systems. The case had a 20-card capacity and can support 8 and 16 bit processors.
With a 16-bit Zilog Z8000 processor, the system could take up to 256 KB of RAM and run the Unix operating system, as well as the more usual CP/M.
It was the last computer proposing a front panel with switches and data/addresses LED.
Mark Mullin specifies:
There were actually two boxes as I recall, one holding the computer and the other holding great big nasty heavy quantum hard disks (20Mb each) - you could actually have more than one drive. The OS it ran was Coherent, a Unix 7 clone from Mark Williams in Chicago.
It was one of the first machines you could get and reliably and affordably run your own UNIX server - one thing that I do recall was that they'd built their own memory management unit on a S-100 card that attached to the cpu over an additional top bus - the card used static high speed ram to hold the segmentation mapping data, and the chips themselves had a nasty habit of walking out of their sockets every month or so - when the system started crashing a lot more than normal, you pulled out the mmu card and reseated all of the chips.
Steven Sorensen adds:
They made 2 styles of cases...one with a front panel, and one without. Later they came out with a cache-bios for their version of CPM, it became a real hot rod. Motherboards were by Godbout I believe. Early CPU boards were a little flakey at 4 MHz, but later cpu boards were great! I replaced the crystal section on the CPU board with a 6 MHz oscillator and Z80b CPU.
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.
Anyone interesting in knowing more about Intersystems and the DPS-1 feel free to contact me. I starting the company.
Steve Edelman Edelman@mail.com
Friday 20th July 2012
Steven Edelman (USA)
As I said a few years ago, the DPS-1 works great. Now I managed to get an additional 2 8" drives so that if these fail, I have spares. I have been trying to back up all my 8" software (much of it original, serialization diskettes such as MuLISP, MuMath, DRI and MS software et al) so that these can be Enjoyed by the future generations. The systems runs standard CP/M and the disk drives are SSDD drives used as SSSD. It is nice to be able to program using the front panel. I also have many additional boards, such as 256K of RAM (in 4 boards), additional hard disk drive adapters (ST506) and modem.
Wednesday 22nd February 2012
Ithaca College had 2 or 3 of these units in the 1981 to 1984 period. They used a pair of 8" floppies. They were co figured to boot a CPM from the floppies. The keys were on the front of the unit however you did not have to use them to boot. The units had a psd pascal compiler / environment. The units were used to teach assembly language.
Thursday 9th February 2012
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Depending on the video terminal used
Z80, Z8000, 8080, 8086
8 KB up to 256 KB
2 KB (Monitor)
Usually 80x25 terminal
SIZE / WEIGHT
2 x Serial RS232, 1 x Parallel
BUILT IN MEDIA
Various FDD and HDD configurations
Built-in Power Supply Unit
All of the S-100 cards and associated peripherals
About $7200 for a typical system (64 K, 2x600 KB disks, Printer, video terminal)