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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.


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I bought one with four 64k banks, a 16MB drive and Micronix for my father business in - I believe - 1982. Unfortunately the hard disk kept freezing due to a disk controller issue. Distance and lack of Internet did not help, and the local importer was of little help as well. So we used it with floppy and CP/M for a while, then we returned it and replaced it with an Olivetti M24. That was the second Unix machine in town, after a Cromemco System Three at the university.

          
Friday 19th August 2016
furio ercolessi (Italy)

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these, I have one in pristine condition. It includes a serial terminal + dust cover, a cp/m primer+programming guide, cp/m 2.2, wordstar, extra disks and 2 diskholders, 2 8 inch disk dirves. The main unit has 2 64k memory cards, disk controller, z80 cpu card. it is currently not functioning because the dip switch settings on the terminal are not set correctly. I have documentation on what each switch means, but no idea what they should be set to. Somebody who has a good amount of knowledge about these comps would be able to fix it easily. Please direct any ?'s to rch@vbe.com. If nobody is interested in purchacing it act quickly, if no buyer is found I will put it up for auction on ebay after I fix it.

          
Sunday 22nd December 2002
Adrien Holtzman (Oshkosh, WI)

 

NAME  Decision 1
MANUFACTURER  Morrow Designs
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  1982
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
KEYBOARD  Uses a serial video terminal
CPU  Z80-A
SPEED  4 Mhz
CO-PROCESSOR  None
RAM  64 KB static
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 chars. x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  None
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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