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S > SOLID STATE TECHNOLOGY > Athena   


SOLID STATE TECHNOLOGY
Athena

Little is known about this obscure professional computer.

The Athena used a true multi-tasking OS that enabled single keystroke application switching. It also incorporated intelligent distributed multiprocessing into perpherial interfaces.

The machine and OS were developed by an MIT graduate and conceived by Solid State Technology from Boston. The Athena is based on a 8085 Intel chipset. Sold with a monochrome monitor and 5.25'' disk drives (320 KB each), it has also a printer (150 characters/s, 80 col.) built-in the case.

Several programming languages were available : compiled BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, PASCAL and APL.

Fewer than one thousand of these machines were produced. The company never gained viability.

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.

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I obtained one of the first PC''s at Honeywell early in the ''80. It was an Athena. The total quote for all items exceeded $7k. I demonstrated its capabilities for executives and at a corporate trade show.

When the IBM PC came out, I thought it did not have nearly the capability of the Athena. The Athena used a true multi-tasking OS that enabled single keystroke application switching. It also incorporated intelligent distributed multiprocessing into perpherial interfaces.

The main cpu was an 8085. The machine and OS were developed by an MIT graduate.

The machine was obtained on spec and never purchased. The division VP commented after a demonstration "Wear it out" implying a total lack of regard for potential or interest in application.

Fewer than one thousand of these machines were produced. The company never gained viability.

          
Monday 11th April 2011
Marty Grogan (USA)

Just stumbled across this site. I was one of hardware/firmware designers for this product. I may still have some manuals for the system, if there is any interest in me scanning them.

I designed the DRAM system (48K), the dot-matrix printer microcontroller hardware/ firmware, the RS232 terminal interface.

Also involved in a CPM conversion project that we never brought to market. Still know many of the team (Mike Varanka, Gary Cook, Roland Guilmet, Dennis Chasse, Dave. As well as the next generation (8088/86 based) system which we prototyped and didn''t make to market.

OS was called AMOS (Athena Multitasking Operating System) and used a bus based system that when each board was installed automatically provided relevant driver for the OS. No external software needed.

Interesting side note: Met Bill Gates of Microsoft, when we contracted Microsoft for Assembler, Basic, and Fortran software packages for the system.

          
Friday 22nd May 2015
Roland (USA)

 

NAME  Athena
MANUFACTURER  Solid State Technology
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  ? 1979
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Unknown
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard
CPU  Intel 8085
SPEED  Unknown
CO-PROCESSOR  Unknown
RAM  Unknown
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  Unknown
GRAPHIC MODES  Unknown
COLORS  Unknown
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Unknown
BUILT IN MEDIA  5.25'' disk drives (320 KB)
OS  Unknown
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply
PERIPHERALS  Unknown
PRICE  35000 FF HT (France, 1980)


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