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M > MORROW DESIGNS > Decision 1   

Morrow Designs
Decision 1

The Decision 1 is one of the last S-100 BUS based computer generation. Morrow Designs held it as the most flexible of all.

On top of a classical CP/M 2.2 operating system, it also featured a special 8 bits version of Unix called Micronix, which allowed the compilation of many programs written in C for other machines under Unix.

The Decision 1’s multi user version allowed to manage up to 15 users and 20 simultaneous tasks. According to Morrow Designs, testing confirmed the Decision 1 was faster than any competing system based on 16 bits 68000 microprocessors.


Bert Greeley adds:
I was working for George from 1979-81 when that machine was developed. About disk drives, originally, we used a 14" Shugart 14mb hard drive and Shugart 8" full-height floppy drives. We then went to the Tandon 1/2 height 8" drives, then to a 5" floppy drive whose manufacturer I don't remember. When Memorex came out with their 8"-5mb hard drive, we switched to them, then the 10mb version. BTW - the Decision II - or, as we called it, the "boat anchor" - was developed about the same time. This was the under-the-table box that was about 18"wide, 14" tall and 30" deep, as I recall. It was designed to fit in a rack-mount. Al (another Morrow employee at the time) and I installed 28 of these beasts at Micro Pro across the bay in San Rafael. My first job with George was rebuilding and aligning the heads on the floppy drives.

Also - the 68000-based systems were what caused the death of Morrow Designs - that and the S-100 buss. We couldn't get reliable speed above 8mHz with an 8-bit buss (Z-80). George toyed with the 8086 but he was steadfastly against a 16-bit OS. At least until after I left in '81. That's something about him I never understood.

I still have my original Imsai 8080 chassis with several Morrow S-100 cards. I don't have the drives any more, so the box doesn't run. I do have the OS, however, plus the source-code for the OS. At one point, I was promoted into writing assembly code for these machines. That led to my 27 or so years as a programmer.

NAME  Decision 1
MANUFACTURER  Morrow Designs
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1982
KEYBOARD  Uses a serial video terminal
CPU  Z80-A
SPEED  4 Mhz
RAM  64 KB static
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 chars. x 25 lines
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Beeper
I/O PORTS  14 x S-100 slots, 3 x serial and 2 x parallel ports
BUILT IN MEDIA  1 or 2 x 5.25'' 400 KB F.D. drives
OS  CP/M 2.2, Micronix
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply
PERIPHERALS  S-100 boards
PRICE  $3,495 - 2 x F.D.D version with CP/M 2.2 and WordStar
$5,295 - 5 MB hard-disk version
$7,290 - Three-user hard-disk version with Micronix O.S.

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