The Jacquard J100 and J500 Videocomputer line was developed at the home offices of Jacquard Systems, Inc. in Santa Monica, California. Development started in 1975 and by 1977 the first units of the J100 were installed.
The base unit included two 8" single-sided floppy drives and could be expanded to up to 14 users. The OS was Jacquard's own DOS. The CPU of the J100 was National Semiconductor's IMP16 microprocessor and the J500 - a follow-on single-user system - was implemented using the AMD Bit-slice technology CPU architecture. The J500, thus a multifunction monopost system, could be used for wordprocessing, mass-mailing, accountancy or stock control.
The J505 version featured the same motherboard plus a piggyback that allowed 2 additional terminals to be connected.
The AM Jacquard J-500 was composed of a central unit keyboard/monitor and two disk-drives. From 1 to 4 optional hard-disks could be added. The hard drives were the Pertec 14" with (I think) 10MB fixed and 5MB removable ans also the Control Data 14" 80MB drive.
The parallel printer port was a 12-bit port, unlike the standard 8-bit Centronics. The Xerox Diablo 1640 daisy wheel printer could be attached to it as well as many other printers.
The J500 was unique at its time because all of the CPU and ALU was stored and executed from a bank of 32 Proms (Programable Read Only Memory). The J100 could actually handle 64 interupts.This included stations and printers. It was limited to 16 because of hashing.
Display was performed by the same ROM/microcode/ALU that provided the main
processing, timesliced in alternate 'quads' - 4 microcode instructions per
Special thanks to Randy Larson who sent us many pictures and information.
I worked for Jacquard before it became AM Jacquard and also for a couple of Jacquard distributors. When Type-Rite came out I became the word processing queen and travelled all over Europe training Jacquard distributors. I guess it was late seventies and into the eighties. Those were amazingly happy days which I remember with great fondness. I worked with Norman Tinklin, Robin Bews, Barry Lawrence and Terry Hart. We had some wild times
Thursday 28th April 2011
Jenny Robinson (UK)
I worked for ATV on Daimler Street in Santa Ana - those were crazy times. No doubt, Typerite was the best word processing software I have ever used - I loved Jacquard computers - too bad they went by the wayside.
Wednesday 9th March 2011
Carol Wollard (USA)
I worked in Technical Support in the Santa Monica office in 1977 with Lynn Shelly and another gentleman I forget. I was responsible for supporting the Family Feud show at ABC Studios for 2 seasons. I got to sit backstage with Richard Dawson and Gene Woods during every taping and will never forget the fun
Tuesday 4th January 2011
Robert R. Heinz
J100 - J500
AM International Jacquard Systems
Four AMD 2900 bit slice ALUs (16-bit) The Jacquard engineers wrote the microcode on the proms that provided the higher level instructions.
80 chars. x 24 lines
SIZE / WEIGHT
1 x Parallel printer 12-bit port (maybe 2), 2 x RS232 2 x external disk interfaces normally used with Pertec 14