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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.

Part of text and picture provided by Brian Bagnall.

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.



I still have the Jolt system I purchased in 1977. I have the CPU, 2k EPRom board, Power supply and all the original documentation. It used a machine language program blown into 1702A EPROMs It was used to control audio sources (reel to reel, carts stuido and network ) for a radio station. It was used very successfully for many years before the advent of the modern hard disc based play out systems.

Always reliable, it still functions (at least the last time I tried it about a year ago).

A truly great little computer!

Monday 7th March 2016
Jim GIlmore (USA)

In 2015 I had the chance to get hands on the JOLT. Unfortunately it was not for sale. I would love to get this early computer. Any offer welcome.

Thursday 3rd March 2016

hi Ray holt , i wonder if i can be abel to recreat your 20 -bit procsesor for the f-16 tom cat , i am intrested in it becuse i have class in computer and electronics . and i belive you mad the first ever microprossesor unit with working cpu ram,rom etc

pleas answer if you can it will be a great help to our class :) thanks before hand

Thursday 18th September 2014
john erling grande (norwey)


NAME  Jolt
MANUFACTURER  Microcomputer Associates Inc.
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  November 1975
KEYBOARD  none (V.24, teletype connection)
CPU  Mos Technology 6502
RAM  512 bytes (expandable up to 4 KB)
VRAM  None
I/O PORTS  Terminal Interface (TTY or EIA)
OS  DEMON(TM) machine language monitor/debugger
POWER SUPPLY  Power supply. +5, +12 or -10(?) volts (sold seperately)
PRICE  $249 (1975, U.S.A.)



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