The PC 6300 was in fact an Olivetti M24 sold under the ATT brand.
Launched a few months after the presentation of six new UNIX super-micro and mini ATT computers (march 1984), the PC 6300 was the first ATT system to be IBM PC compatible. It represented the low-end system of the ATT products.
But the PC-6300 (and the Olivetti M24) was an excellent PC compatible system, twice faster than the IBM PC XT computer thanks to a real 16 bit CPU, the Intel 8086, which ran at 8Mhz as opposed to the 8088 of the IBM PC running at 4,7Mhz. The standard graphic possibilities were also better than those of the IBM PC.
Michael Hildenbrand reports :
When I got it, there was also an option to get a 720k 3.5
floppy with it instead of the 5.25 floppy. When I got mine in 1986, one of the 5.25 floppy drives went bad and I had them replace it under warranty. It would have cost me $500 to replace it if I had had to replace it. Cool machine, anyway. I used that machine for many years!
David Punia adds:
During the early 80's, it became apparent that PC's were becoming an important tool to engineers and to businesses. The University of Vermont, where I worked at the time, was an early adopter of what later became common practice, that of requiring incoming students in certain disciplines to purchase personal computers.
In those days, compatibility was a huge issue, i.e. there was very little, so sole-source vendors were often chosen to supply PC's. The AT&T PC6300 offered a significant performance advantage over the IBM PC and others. It's full 16-bit processor/bus interface, 8 MHz processor, high resolution graphics modes (proprietary to Olivetti/AT&T) and 8087 math coprocessor socket made it a good choice for CAD, circuit analysis, and other graphical and math-intensive applications. There were a couple of 16-bit expansion slots also, but the card configuration was proprietary, eventually supplanted by the PC/AT's form factor for expansion cards.
The design of the chassis was interesting; the motherboard was accessed by removing the bottom cover of the system unit, exposing the entire motherboard. A daughterboard in the upper section of the system unit carried hardware for the expansion slots, and housed the drives. I still have one of these boxed away in my basement, with a side-attached hard drive chassis that could carry a full-height 5.25" hard disk. Mine has a 72 MB Seagate, about 5 pounds and $650 at the time, that dims the lights while it spins up ;-). and makes a loud clunk when the mechanical brake kicks in during power down.
A very cool system, I still have one. It had super-CGA graphics, capable of showing high definition text in place of the standard chunky characters and of getting a very cool extra 640x400 resolution. it could be switched in by bios modes 40h or 48h, the latter showing a small font. The color attributes were tweaked to get a mix of the CGA modes + the monochrome features (flashing od underlined text). This lead the 160x100x16 unofficial tweaked cga modes to work differently. The hardware was very flexible, its monitor could work with the AGA graphics card (which was a sort of super cga getting resolutions close to the EGA board) or even in 512 dots mode with a z8001 coprocessor in M20 emulation. Do not try to overclock the CPU ! The same clock source drives the monitor, and you would burn it.
Thursday 21st March 2013
My first computer. Purchased it when I became a salesman in NYC for Amada. I used it to track customers and provide lists based upon location of customers to visit. I used a program called PFS File and for word processing PFS Professional Write. My peers at the time could not see the value of any of this. I recall purchasing a 20 meg hard drive for around $600. It was amazing! My fellow geek friends drive for miles to see it in action. I wish I had saved my 6300, it''s like an old friend.
Saturday 10th November 2012
John (United States)
I am, probably the first collector of Olivetti M24 on earth. I own also a couple of AT$T PC6300.
I have around 30 Olivetti M24, with a large collection of spares, power supplies.
This was a wonderful computer! It was my first one when I was 17th. Wonderful Keyboard (Olivetti has always produced wonderful keyboards).
I''m searching the following things to extend my collection: 1) Original Color Monitor with its cable 2) 301, 302 keyboard (even broken) 3) Original Mouse to be connected on keyboard 4) A motherboard for the PC 6300 Plus with 80286 daughterboard. 5) A PC6300 plus front plastic bezel
If any of you has such things, thanks to contact me. email@example.com
If you need something in exchange, let me know.
Whoever needs information on the pc, repair tips, etc, please contact me.
Long life to Olivetti M24, AT$T PC6300, Xerox 6060 and Logabax Persona 1600. These were all Olivetti M24 rebranded.
Thursday 21st June 2012
Vincenzo (Milan - Italy)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
GW-Basic delivered on disk
QWERTY full-stroke keyboard, function keys, separated numeric keypad