The DOT was a portable IBM PC compatible computer. It was the last portable computer developed by Computer Devices Incorporated (CDI) back in 1981-1983. It followed the example of the Osborne systems, its main competitors. But while most other transportable systems were powered by 8-bit microprocessors, the DOT used a "powerful" 16-bit Intel 8088.
It has a wide built-in 5 x 9" green monochrome display which can display up to 1056 x 254 pixels or 132 x 25 characters. There are 256 characters from the original IBM PC character set for compatibility, as well as 256 more characters for double size displays. The DOT features a real time clock. One or two (depending models) 3.5'' Sony disk drives were mounted inside the system (287 KB each).
An optional Zilog Z80 expansion board allowing to run CP/M 2.2 was also available.
There is also an optional thermal printer (160 cps) mounted on top of the monitor, which can print everything displayed on the screen. It can also be remotely operated through 1200 baud line. Here are the Printer characteristics :
- Print method: Thermal, with a 5 x 10 dot matrix
- Print speed: 160 characters per second bidirectional
- Paper: 8 3/4 " wide, thermal paper; 150' or 100' roll with last 5' color coded
- Line length (characters): 80/132 columns, selectable
- Automatic carriage return and line feed: At 81st or 137th column
- Character spacing: Vertical - 6 lines per inch Horizontal 80 column: 10 . 7 characters/inch 132 column: 18.4 characters/inch
- Graphics density: Vertical - 64 dots per inch Horizontal - 64 or 128 dots per inch
- Paper feeds : friction drive, 30 line feeds per second
This is some of the software available: MS-DOS, CP/M (optional), assembler, Basic, Fortran, Cobol, Pascal, C, macro-assembler, Pearl, Record Manager, terminal emulation (TTY, IBM 3101, 327x, 3780, VT100), mailing, Volkswriter (wordprocessor), Multiplan, Time Manager, Project Manager...
I worked on the development of the Sony drive interface unfortunately it was totally analog with plenty of problems and even though there was a chip set available which worked the management insisted on using the analog interface and pestered Sony to get the bugs out since it was a recommended circuit by them this caused long delays in its release and never worked right. It was kind of a cool design though. one problem the thermal paper''s txt faded quite quickly. I worked with Dave Epstien a great guy. Miss you dave.
Saturday 20th June 2015
Bob Gershaw (massachusetts)
I attempted to use the DOT Computer as the principle input/output device, to a Department of Defense Network computer program I designed! The DOT Computer, for all of the great designed elements, Portability, Printer, Sony disc drive, key board, Screen, was the best device for my program, with Packet-networking, to a network of 60 Sequent Computers, operating 386 Duel Unix system! I would have bought 1 Dot Computer for each Army Detachment or Company, which would have been 25,000 units! But alas, at the time when I went to Billerica, Massachusetts to present my program, Computer Devices was in Bankruptcy and had stored the production units away in a garage and could not (would not?) release the units to the US Army!
Friday 29th May 2015
Paul D. Conley (Durant, OK)
If anyone is interested I still have my DOT computer with reams of company software and the back up parts they sold as an extra. I last used it in 1997 as an office computer to track business expenses at a small business I had. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Hate to see it be trashed.
Wednesday 10th July 2013
Doug Connell (USA)
Computer Devices Incorporated
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Full-stroke 89 keys with numeric keypad and 10 function keys
Intel 8088 (16-bit cpu)
optional Intel 8087 math co-processor, optional Z80 board for CP/M compatibility
64 KB or 128KB of main user RAM expandable to 256KB on a single board (optional 64K OEM unit). Up to 704KB of main memory with an expander board. 2KB of static RAM memory for terminal configuration
24 KB or 64 KB depending models
40 columns x 25 or 16 lines / 80 x 25-16 / 132 x 25-16
40 x 16 / 40 x 25 / 320 x 200 / 640 x 200 / 512 x 254 / 1024 x 254 / 1056 x 254
SIZE / WEIGHT
46 x 38 x 19 cm / 19 Kg
Two expansion slots, two RS232/V24 ports, external monitor, parallel port optional
BUILT IN MEDIA
one or two 3.5'' floppy disk drives (287 KB each); average acces time: 365 ms; transfer rate: 500 KB/s
Built-in power supply unit, 100w
Embedded printer, 2 x Serial RS-232 ports, Z80 card, built-in 300/1200 bauds modem, IBM 3780 & 327x compatible boards