When the C4P was launched, Ohio Scientific said that it was a giant step in the world of the home computers. It was twice as fast as an Apple ll or Commodore Pet and more than three times as fast as a Tandy TRS 80.
However, despite its technological lead, the C4P and other Ohio Scientific computers always suffered of a lack in efficient software and attractive handbooks. For this reason, very few third companies built cards and peripherals for the Challenger series. So, the C4P didn't withstand to the competition of the Apple II and II+ version which appeared 4 months later.
However, Ohio Scientific sold it until 1981 as a business oriented system.
In March 1981, OSI was sold to 'M/A-Com' company, but the name did continue until at least 1985. Some OSI based systems were also sold under the name OSITRON.
In 1979, two versions were sold:
The C4P basic version ($698) with:
- 8KB Basic ROM
- 8KB of static RAM expandable to 32KB
- Audio tape interface.
The C4P MF ($1695) with all the features of the C4P plus:
- 24KB RAM expandable to 48KB
- 5" floppy-disc drive unit
- Real time clock
- Interfaces for Home Security System, parallel printer, modem
- Bus connector.
Brett Molotsky reports:
The Challenger 4P was also sold for a VERY brief time by JCPenney stores in a consumer-friendly version. It had an all-plastic case that was a bit more sleek and that looked much like an Apple II case. That's where we bought ours, along with a black and white TV and a cassette tape player.
David Pelleg recalls:
The C4P was my first computer. It was great except it had ONE MAJOR DESIGN FLAW which anyone who ever used it would know quite well. That was the placement of the reset key directly adjacent to the (very small) enter key. One little touch of reset and EVERYTHING you had been working on was wiped out instantly. That is why I'm so paranoid about constantly saving files even today (where it takes ctrl-alt-delete plus "Are you sure you would like to restart?").