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Altos Computer Systems

Igor Pronin reports:
As one of the first users here in Finland back in 1981 or 82 I have to admit my love to this computer. It was really rugged and quality equipment. Operating systems I used with the Altos8000 were mainly multiuser versions of CP/M, i.e. MP/M I and later a revised MP/M II, which had already file locks etc at the operating system level. CP/M was used only for some single user maintenance jobs where larger than 48 kB memory was needed. MP/M could allocate only 48 kb per user instead of CP/M 64 kb. The first one with a 10 MB (MegaByte) hard disk costed about the equivalent of 20000 USD (at that time 79000 FIM)+ about 2500 USD per TTY terminal.

From Charles Wangersky:
The one I worked with was one of the older ones, 4 users, 4 switched banks of 48kb (DRAM), one for each user, and 16kb common memory (DRAM) for the kernel, for a total of 208kb. It had a separate external hard drive, also a 19" rack mount, I think 40MB SCSI. It also had a beige face plate, rather than the striped black and beige on the site.

maarten Jongkind's memories:
The one I got had 2 8" shugart drives and only one processor running CPM/MPM on a Z80 with only 64K. Attachted was a Zenith Z19 Terminal which I still have.

I got this machine from my employer back in 1982, 8086 PC running MS and IBM Dos and even Novell were already there and this was one of the surpluss machines.

I espacilly liked the simplicity of the system, and I was challanged by it's specified limitations. I worked my way arround many of them and I even enhanced the hardware with populair electronic kits designed for the Sinclair ZX81 and specially adapted by myself for use with the Althos Z80 processorboard.

At some point I even adapted a 80286 processorboard to fit into the system running MS dos from a hidden harddrive within its large cabinet, the 8"still working . Now I wished I never had done that. After I trough away this machine in 89 my Zenith terminal sat pointless on my desk buried under the documents gathered over more than 12 years. In 2004 I brought it back to live by connectin it's serial port to an old Intel PIII machine running a CPM emulition on a kermit modem emulation, all very similar to the althos. Back to simplicity. I am working on extending the emultaion to the internet.

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