The Monroe OC-8820 was an all-in one Z80 based system featuring 128 to 256 KB of RAM, a monochrome CRT and a dual 5.25" 300 KB floppy disk drive.
It used its own multitask operating system, but a CP/M OS could be acquired separately along with a specific Monroe BASIC interpreter, Dbase II, Wordstar and a spreadsheet (probably CalcStar). Even under CP/M, You could run the a Spreadsheet report and still run Wordstar.
A 10 MB hard-disk drive unit was also available.
The Monroe computer family also had a color graphics model, but we have no information about it.
In ''83 I used to sell and install Monroe OC-8800 computers. They had the 8810 with 2 floppy drives and the 8820 originally came with a 5 meg full height hard drive. Units were manufactured in Lexington, SC, a Monroe owed assembly plant that operated at 50 degrees with the lights off (robotics). My first sale was to Woody Bilton Ford in St. George, SC. A company in Litchfield SC had a great auto dealer F$I package. The bought the 8810 with a Diablo daisy wheel printer. My next sale was to C$S Bank (now Wachovia (Wells Fargo)). Again, another F$I package with the Diablo printer, Word Star, D-Base, and Supercalc. Monroe also had a Tobacco package that would print the purchase order (oki dot printer) and the check (Diablo) at the same time. Sold like hotcakes. The following year Monroe came out with an 80186 processor machine with “Open Office” by Software Products International”. Open Office did everything MS Office did, but better. Office 2000 was about the same. I sold the fool out of that one too. But IBM came out with the 80286, Monroe bet the farm on 80186, and that was the end of Monroe computers. However. Monroe did a great job of making computers useful for business.
In 1983 I worked on one of these, learning CBasic to port some software I''d previously written on an Apple II+ to CP/M. Had the system on loan from a Litton dealer. With nothing but reference manuals to go by and no CP/M experience, getting started was a hurdle. But the system worked great and CBasic was a very nice BASIC for its time.
Sunday 2nd January 2011
Wow what a time warp! I sold about 15 of these computers in 1982 and 1983. I remember one of the Sales guys decided to develop a Dungeons and Dragons game in Basic after hours because otherwise this pc only had a few business applications. btw$ SuperCalc was the spreadsheet program available.
Morristown Branch! Where are all you guys now? Mark Ricciardi, Kevin Haney, Steve Shustak, Tom Corzine, Gary, Joe, Martha. Good times!