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N > NANO  > SKS 2500   

SKS 2500

John Benfield, who worked on this computer reports :

I redesigned the video card for Canada Computer when the SKS was imported into Canada. (there was a pretty nasty bunch of design flaws in the original card that would cause the driver transistors in the HV section to vaporize if you switched video modes too often). I also wrote lot of utilities for it and ported most of the BBS type software of the time (Modem7, Xmodem, RBBS, etc.).

I think that SKS means "Steinmetz Kunstliche Systemtechnik" or something like that.

The available co-processors included a Motorola 68000 and an 80186. Neither were really marketed. I assume that they were all "prototypes" since the MSDOS was a bit dodgy. I never did see any OS that booted on the 68000, but it did make a nice little co-pro that you could use with your own code under CP/M or Oasis (you had to link in a set of "beta" libraries to use it.). It was rumoured that the co-pro would support Xenix, but I never saw a running copy of it anywhere.

The text modes went from 40x12 up to 132x43 (though if you knew the architecture, you could essentially program the video controller to just about any geometry that you wanted to.)

All of the machines shipped with CP/M and the PerfectOffice suite (PerfectCalc, Perfect Writer, Perfect Filer, etc.). Microsoft Basic only shipped with the 80186 co-pro and MSDOS package. It was an option with CP/M.

The floppy controller was fully programmable and there were utilities to run it at 800K, 720K, 400K, 360K, 320K and 160K. With a bit of bit-tweaking, you could make it read just about any 5.25" disk of the time.

There was an internal card cage that accepted a number of add-on cards (including the co-pros discussed earlier). There were also expansion slots on the motherboard for additional RS-232, parallel, RS-422 and IEEE-488 interfaces (though the IEEE-488 was a very specialized item that had to be ordered directly from SKS)

There was also a desktop version of this machine.

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.
NAME  SKS 2500
TYPE  Transportable
ORIGIN  Germany
YEAR  1982
KEYBOARD  Full stroke keyboard with numeric keypad, editing keypad and function keys
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
CO-PROCESSOR  Optional Motorola 68000 and Intel 80186
RAM  64 KB (up to 256 KB)
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  from 40 x 12 to 132 x 43
GRAPHIC MODES  Block graphics mode (eacjh character was a 2x3 or 2x4 block, depending the video mode, with bits turned on or off based on the character code used)
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  RS232 (2 up to 4)
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 5.25'' floppy disk units
OS  CP/M or Oasis (now known as Theos) or MERCURE (?)
POWER SUPPLY  Power supply built-in
PRICE  Unknown

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