On December 1975, the coveted inside-front-cover of Byte magazine contained a two-page advertisement for "the world's lowest cost computer system". This was perhaps the first non-MOS Technology 6502 based computer system to come to market, behind only the TIM and possibly KIM-1. The computer was named Jolt, and it was marketed by Microcomputer Associates Inc. as both a kit for $249, or fully assembled and tested for $348 (Dec. 1975 Byte).
Microcomputer Associates also sold add-ons for the basic system. They included 4 kilobytes for $265, an I/O card for $96, and a power supply for $145.
The Jolt is somewhat famous for the part it played in the development of the prototype Atari 2600 VCS, which was assembled using the Jolt computer board.
Jolt was designed and developed by Raymond M. Holt, Founder and Executive Vice-President of Microcomputer Associates. Holt went on to design the SYM-1 single-board computer, a KIM-1 clone. In the late 1990's Holt was finally given government permission to discuss his role in the development of the F-14 Tomcat. Holt claims he designed and developed the worlds first microprocessor one year before Intel.
Manny Lemas was the co-founder of Microcomputer Associates, Inc. Ray Holt was the hardware side and he was the software side of the business. He wrote the DEMON (Debugger/Monitor) software for the JOLT.
This software was actually developed for MOS Technology for use in the
TIM chip and the KIM-1 single board computer. M.A. was granted rights to
its own version of the software for use in the JOLT.
Microcomputer Associates was one of my first employers. I worked with Manny and Ray packing the kits and soldering the assembled boards. I was one of the first 5 employees - Ray, Manny, Frank, Darrel and myself. I would love to get in touch with these guys again. Ray, Manny and Frank were my mentors.
Wednesday 16th July 2014
Tim Kowalski (Illinois USA)
If anyone has questions about the F-14 CADC, Jolt, Super Jolt or SYM early computers just let me know.
The JOLT was my first computer. It was a great little machine. I did a number of interesting projects in the physics lab, connecting it geiger tubes and the like for counting decays per unit time, etc.
Anyway, I still have it, as well is some of the literature. I could post some photos, if I could figure out how to do it. This form does not seem to allow it.
Sunday 20th March 2011
Tom Anderson (USA)
Microcomputer Associates Inc.
END OF PRODUCTION
none (V.24, teletype connection)
Mos Technology 6502
512 bytes (expandable up to 4 KB)
Terminal Interface (TTY or EIA)
DEMON(TM) machine language monitor/debugger
Power supply. +5, +12 or -10(?) volts (sold seperately)