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R > RAIR MICROCOMPUTER > Black Box   


RAIR microcomputer
Black Box

RAIR was a very early UK manufacturer of 8085-based systems and eventually licensed its designs to ICL.

This obscure system was sold with a hard-disk and a 5"1/4 disk-drive built-in. It was conceived to be used as a multi-user system.

The following languages were available : Basic, Cobol, Fortran, Pascal, PL/1.

More information about Black Box internal hardware in the ICL Personal computer page.

Pictured here is a model 3/30.

_______________________

Douro says:
This machine uses a Seagate st506 hard drive; I am quite certain that it could use many different drives through the interface.

John Pettitt adds:
Later black boxes were 8088 based and used hard disks up to 15MB.
RAIR was the first company in Europe to ship a 5.25 HD and the second world wide.


Mark Sharples reports:
The boards on this model would sometimes come free from the mother board during transit. The engineer would arrive from Rair, wait for the client to leave the room, and then simply drop the computer from about two inches off the desk to re-install the system.

We need more info about this console ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.

 

I stumbled over this. The old days. We should probably plan an old get together with the crew. I see John and Tim commenting. What happened to Howard, Mark and Dave Fogden and the others? I have still lots of photos. Still a roll of poster from our hot-air balloon. What happened to "Technology For Business" after the bought us up. I remember they weren''t very happy about my balloon at the time. Is there a place we upload photos?

          
Thursday 7th April 2011
Guenter H Krauss (Germany)

Thanks John
that was a sad time.
Richard was my best friend then and still is.
I have a lot of his stuff still in my loft, photos taken at rair and I think the first talking computer he was Woking on at the time. If I remember correctly he was in a race to beat the US in getting a chip to talk, something like that anyhow, I know little about this tech stuff.
anybody know what happened to Richards home videos ?

          
Thursday 2nd August 2007
$#/\wN (essex UK)

I never met Rick - if I recall correctly he died the same week I started working for Lifeboat Associates (we shared offices with RAIR) - Tim may remember him.

          
Monday 5th March 2007
John Pettitt (California)
CloudView LLC

 

NAME  Black Box
MANUFACTURER  RAIR microcomputer
ORIGIN  United Kingdom
YEAR  1979
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES  None
CONTROLLERS  Depends on the video terminal used
CPU  8085 (Later 8088)
SPEED  3 MHz then 5 MHz (8088: 5 MHz)
CO-PROCESSOR  Unknown
RAM  from 64 kb to 512 kb
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  Commonly 80 chars. x 25 lines terminals
GRAPHIC MODES  Unknown
COLORS  Unknown
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  50.5 (W) x 40.5 (D) x 14 (H) cm.
I/O PORTS  from 2 to 8 serial ports (RS-232c / V24)
MEDIA  5''1/4 disk-drive (256 kb)
5 Mb ST-506 hard-disk, then 15 and 30 MB
NUMBER OF GAMES  Mono-user : CP/M
Multi-user : MP/M
Multi-machine : MP/M Network
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PRICE  64kb RAM and 2 x serial ports : 6097 (France, july 82)




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