I used to sell Adam's in '83... it was actually a pretty revolutionary product at the time because the main "serious" use for computers then was word processing, except the only affordable dot-matrix printers back then were really crude. "Daisy-Wheel" printers were the ultimate but easily cost over $1,000. So the Adam comes along with both computer and 12 CPS daisy-wheel printer for about $600. It was slow and loud, but it was a daisy-wheel printer!
Still, it never really took off. Maybe it was the slow tape drives at a time when Commodore and Apple already had discs.
R. Clint Elli comments:
The Adam could (and did) run CP/M 2.2 - you ordered the software on a tape, and it took minutes to load, but once you had it loaded, it was a straight-forward CP/M machine. I learned CP/M using this machine. Did a little assembler programming as well (the assembler was included with the OS).
The printer was a daisy wheel, but used a fairly crude solonoid to drive the keys - very slow, very noisy, and the solonoid was so 'heavy handed' that the printer could (and sometimes did) walk around the surface it was mounted on.
The cabling was also fairly awkward - it could only be set up with the printer on the right side, and took alot of desktop real estate.
Finally, the cassette tape data storage was kind-of direct access - it would stream forward and backward to find things, which took a great deal of time, and the smart user kept the heads clean on a regular schedule.
D. Faubert reports :
I played around with one of these back in 83, what a crazy machine! If you turned the power supply on or off while there was a cassette tape inserted the tape got wiped! I am serious, I wrecked two tapes, and they belonged to someone else. Also, the tapes would spin back and forth seeking data like they were trying to be a CCT drive. Wild!
Adam in Uruguay, by Leonard Araujo :
I owned an ADAM for many years...I took it with me to South America (Uruguay) in 1988, where apparently the remainder of the ADAM's inventory was sent after Coleco closed production of this machine.
I meet several people there who programmed new games for this machine, and I helped develop an adapter (with a team of 5 other geeks) which converted the ADAM's tape drives to work with the Timex Sinclair machines that already didn't have a tape drive built into them. The tape drives would load games on the Sinclair about 5X faster.
I miss being able to play "Buck Rogers" on that machine!
Adam Community, by Bob Slopsema :
Acutally, there are multiple disk drives in variations from the original 160k to 320k, 720k and 1.44m. 80 column is possible in various ways - 2 different units or 80 column stand alone monitor. Hard drive space available using ide drives, memory cards, spare drives, and very possibly a cdrom drive in the works(although it needs to be pre-programmed with ADAM info on it in order to access it). Would love to hear about the original cd.
As an ADAM community, we have a core group of 15-20 holding a convention each and every year around the US and Canada. Visit us on the web here which points to many other ADAM sites, the convention information, our weekly Web eve chat site, parts and supplies, and much more.