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S > SYSTEM FORMULET INC.  > BUBCOM 80   


SYSTEM FORMULET INC.
BUBCOM 80

Almost nothing is known about this rare japanese system... Apparently its was first marketed as the System Formulet Bubcom 80, then bought back by Fujitsu and sold as the Fujitsu Bubcom 80.

Originaly it was a CP/M machine which used Fujitsu magnetic bubble memory. It had filesystem support for the bubble memory cartridge right in the CP/M BIOS. It seems also to have been one of the first japanese system to offer 8 colors display and is considered at the origin of the popular Fujitsu FM-8 computer (anyone can confirm that ?).

There were different versions, at least two : BC-80RN and BC-80RS with memory differences. The RN model had 64 KB RAM, and the RS ... more ?!

It was apparently possible to upgrade it with modules inserted in one of the two slots on top of the case.

Jake Christie sent us this information:
The Bubcom 80 used "bubble memory", which was supposed to be the solution to the storage limitations of 1980s microcomputers.
I believe the machine cost over 10,000 yen in Japan when it was introduced sometime between 1982 or 1984, and there was an attempt to export the Bubcom 80 to the US because it was a business computer.


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.

 

The bubble memory cartridges measured approximately 3" x 2" x 1", fully enclosed except for the bottom, where the connector was recessed in the cartridge housing (similar to a gaming cartridge). I have no idea what the insides of a cartridge look like (too expensive to break open!), so I don''t know what the ''bubble'' in ''bubble memory'' really referred to.

          
Monday 7th October 2019
Paul Giers (United States)

I owned one a Bubcom80 as a Monbusho Scholar at Kyoto University from 1983-85. I used it to pre-process survey data on social networks and access to legal resources as part of a study of women''s litigation behavior (or lack thereof). The data eventually went in to the University mainframe as a 3-ft long stack of punch cards.
The two expansion slots held 32kb bubble memory cartridges, which if I remember correctly served essentially as RAM. Each of the 2 8" floppy drives dwarfed modern desktop towers is size and weight.
I brought the darn thing back to the States with me (it took up almost half my shipping allotment) and lugged it around for many years before discarding it. Man, do I wish I had kept it to show my grandchildren!

Paul J. Giers Jr
Charlotte, NC

          
Monday 7th October 2019
Paul Giers (United States)

il riferimento si trova a pag.34 del libro:
Considerations for Use of Microcomputers in Developing Country Statistical Offices: Final Report :

"In one of these system, the Bubcom 80, a 32Kb memory cartridge was priced at $ 175 in mid-1982."

Da Google Libri.

          
Wednesday 11th January 2017
Maurizio Sorrentino (Italia)
Retrofficina4004

 

NAME  BUBCOM 80
MANUFACTURER  System Formulet Inc.
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  Japan
YEAR  ? 1980
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Bubcom 80 Basic
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard with numeric and editing keypads, function keys
CPU  Zilog Z80 + Motorola 6809A
RAM  64 KB
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 x 24 ?
GRAPHIC MODES  Unknown
COLORS  yes
SOUND  Unknown
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 8'' disk-drives
OS  CP/M optional
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in PSU
PERIPHERALS  Light pen, disk-drive, printer
PRICE  BC-80RN (64 KB) = 168 000 yen (Japan, 1980?)




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