The Alpha Micro 1000 was a line of systems based on the 68000 microprocessor. According to customer requests, each system could be configured from a single user microcomputer with 128 KB of RAM, up to a 60-users system with 3 MB of RAM and 2.4 GB of disk storage.
The operating system of the 1000 series was AMOS, a multi-user, multi-tasking and timesharing system allowing the user to easily add terminals and printers to the current configuration. Several programming languages were available to build AMOS compatible applications: BASIC, PASCAL, LISP, ASSEMBLER, FORTRAN and COBOL.
Alpha Micro offered innovative hardware solutions and high technology firsts provided by a third company called Macrotech:
- a 1 MB RAM Board
- an intelligent I/O board using DMA
- the only 6MB piggyback board available
The system used a standard VHS Video Tape Recorder for back-ups, and most software updates from Alpha Micro and other software houses were supplied in this form.
In the UK this caused a few problems as you had to obtain NTSC-compatible players.
The Alpha Micro company still exists. You can find the latest info on the Amos and Alpha micro systems here.
Thanks to Joe for additional pictures and information
"Engineers knew a basic hack to get access to the $1,4$ system area without a password. " An Alpha Micro served as our high-school computer lab back in 1980... we found several versions of this hack within the first semester, and were able to save the day when the class teacher forgot the password for OPR:
Tuesday 15th March 2011
worked on these in the late 80''s / early 90''s and i did get the biggest electric shock (240v) of my life off one when i discovered a previous engineer had removed the fuse cover from the psu exposing the mains fuse (ouch!)
Wednesday 1st September 2010
Dave Lea (UK)
The last Alpha Micros that we maintained went out of use in 2004 after about 15 years of use. The staff still refer to it now. Engineers knew a basic hack to get access to the $1,4$ system area without a password. The Discana utility could fix any amount of system corruption and best of all, when colour monitors came out we were all shocked to find the Amos operating system was actually in colour. Who new?