The MBC-1000 was the bottom-of-the-range system of a series of "Creative Computer" CP/M machines which was also comprised of the 11xx and 12xx ranges.
Although its design wasn't revolutionary, it was a well-built and reliable machine featuring a detachable keyboard, a 12-inch green monochrome screen and a single built-in 5.25, 327 KB floppy drive.
It ran CP/M 2.2 OS with a very fast boot up sequence. The OS was ready to run in less than five seconds after the machine was switched on. The whole family of Micropro software - WordStar, CalcStar, DataStar, ReportStar... was specially modified to fit MBC-1000 features. Sbasic, an extended Basic interpreter, was included into the CP/M master diskette.
Sanyo CP/M machines had a discreet life in business world and were gradually replaced by PC compatible systems.
Extracts from the marketing brochure:
- Compact design integrating all the functions for multi-purpose applications
- Z-80A CPU ensures high-speed processing with no-wait mode
- A substantial library of business software has been developed in the United States to Sanyo's specifications. Sanyo will also offer word-processing, electronic spread-sheets, and related software to its distributor and dealer network. A user encyclopedia for the extensive, powerful SBASIC II is supplied with the machine. The Sanyo computer will support all CP/M compatible software and along with the appropriate interpreter or compiler, programs can be run in C-Basic, M-Basic, Fortran, Cobol, Forth and others. Sanyo will support and publish a list of approved software products to its dealers, distributors and end users.
- SBASIC II adds several additional commands and statements to those featured by Microsoft BASIC. The disket supplied includes a set of Check programs and Utilities allowing extra programming flexibility.
- Built-in floppy disk drive with file copy procedure can be expanded to incorporate up to three 5"1/4 or two 8" additional floppy disk drives. The expandability to over 2.3 MB of disk storage assures the capacity to meet your needs.
- Easy-to-operate typewriter-style keyboard with numeric pad and five function keys for easy program execution
- 12" non-glare green phosphor video display screen showing up to 256 standard and graphic characters. For special graphic or alpha-numeric needs, programmable character generator allows you to change any character to meet these requirements.
- Centronics parallel printer port, RS-232C serial port, and additional 5"1/4 floppy expansion disk port are standard.
- Additional interface cards are available for a parallel port or RS-232 port.
- The interface card for the EFD860F (additional 8" external drives) is packaged with the EFD860F
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.
Special thanks to Murry Augenstein who donated us this computer !
My oldest brother sold computers in the university bookstore at UOP in the early 1980''s. As an undergraduate, he spent much time teaching university professors how to set up and use their computers. He came into possession of a Sanyo MBC1000 through this connection, and gifted the computer to me in 1986 when he upgraded to a better system.
I loved this machine, my first computer, and it seemed quite magical to me. Even though the Macintosh had been out for two years, I didn''t have one. So to me, my giant MBC1000 felt like a piece of science fiction made real, with its softly glowing green screen and the intermittent crackle-hum of the floppy drives. It was also extremely practical.
It not only had the built-in 5.25" floppy, but it also came to me complete with a daisy-chained external 5.25" drive, a sprocket-fed dot matrix printer, a box of white continuous paper and a stack of floppies.
From that point forward I wrote every school report in WordStar, printed in low-res dots on perforated paper. I no longer had to re-type pages every time I made an edit. In fact, I don''t think I ever used my typewriter again.
But best of all were a collection of three floppies titled ZORK, ZORK II and ZORK III. These games were an instant hit with me, an AD$D geek, and fan of Choose Your Own Adventure books. I learned a lot about how to design games from playing these repeatedly, and guessing at the game''s vocabulary.
I was an art student, and intimidated by the prospect of learning SBASIC. Little did I know that computers would later completely take over the commercial art and design world.
The machine was so large it was like having another roommate. I remember lugging the hulking block of metal and glass from apartment-to-apartment for years. At first it wouldn''t even fit on my small writing desk, so It lived on the floor, and I would spend hours laying on the carpet in front of it playing those games or typing. Sometimes it would occupy my drafting table for serious report-writing, and I eventually built a custom desk that held all of the components on perfectly-sized shelves.
For some reason, I still have the main shelf thirty years later. But sadly, the computer is long-since gone, replaced by a used Macintosh IIcx in 1990. The dot-matrix printer developed a clogged row, and stopped printing descenders. So for a while I had to manually draw every descender with a pencil.
I still have the IIcx, and nearly every computer and laptop I''ve owned since then, but the one computer I miss the most was my mechanical roommate.
Monday 28th September 2015
Tim Blakey (California)
In the early 80''s I was employed at an office supply store in the college town of Menomonie, Wisconsin, home to UW Stout. We had started out selling the Timex-Sinclair 1000, graduated to the Commodore VIC20, and eventually advanced to the Commodore 64, the Sanyo MBC-1000, and the NEC APC, which was directed solely at the business market. We even had a Compaq Portable PC - or ''luggable'' as it was often referred to. I always liked the little Sanyo, as the MicroPro software was very user-friendly, and the SBasic it shipped with was easy enough for someone like me to get a handle on. I wrote an interactive SBasic program that would scroll through a number of pages of the Sanyo''s selling points, and even had an ''input page'' that was displayed anytime a key was pressed, so customers could type in their name, which would trigger a sub-routine that ''personalized'' their computer shopping experience. If their first name happened to be the same as one of our staff, an additional sub-routine would be triggered that was intended to offer them some degree of familiarity with a sales person before actual contact - I had noticed that people were often self-conscious about their lack of knowledge about the emerging technology. Even though we sold a lot of the Commodore merchandise, and even some of the very pricey NEC business systems, we never did have a ''taker'' on the Sanyo, and it eventually got relegated to printing mailing labels for sales flyers promoting office supply products. I had always hoped that I''d be able to buy the little system for home use, but it was probably best that I didn''t - technology evolved quickly, and it was soon obsolete, at least as a home computer. Still, I loved the solidly-built little system - especially the metal-encased keyboard. Fond memories indeed...
Saturday 8th August 2015
Doug Neumann (USA)
The MBC-1000 was also my first "real" computer. I had been fiddling with Z-80 type stuff but never achieved anything useful. Being a radio ham at the time I interfaced my hf rig to the "1000" and wrote a morse code "reader" in assembler. It was very good at tracking speed and variations in transmission technique. Later I wrote a morse sender as well. Amateur Packet Radio became popular and I wrote several apps for receiving and sending for that too. I had a budgie as a pet which learned the sound of the keyboard clicks. She would sit on the monitor and click away as if typing furiously!! Many nostalgic memories of those days.
Thursday 4th April 2013
Otto Fobian (South Africa)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
SBASIC II (Microsoft Basic with additional commands specific to the system)
Typewriter type, 83 keys with numeric keypad, 5 function keys & arrow keys
2 KB (video) + 2 KB (character generator)
80 columns x 25 lines (8x8 dots character matrix. Programmable character generator)
Monochrome green phosphore (12'' non-glare monitor)
SIZE / WEIGHT
Main unit: 40.5 (W) x 31.7 (H) x 35.7 (D) cm / 14 kg Keyboard: 41 (W) x 7.6 (H) x 21.1 (D) cm / 3.5 Kg
Parallel printer, external FDD unit, Serial RS232 (1200-8500 BPS baud rate)
BUILT IN MEDIA
Built-in 5.25'' 327 KB floppy-disk drive
Built-in, switching power supply unit (45 W)
Up to 5 expansion cards, up to three 5''1/4 or two 8'' drives can be added
$1500 (fall 1982, USA) $3,995 (1983, USA) - includes a second 5 1/4 inch drive, a daisy wheel printer, the software package and 8 hours of instructions in WordStar, CalcStar and installation