Alex Tidmarsh exprience:
Back in 1985, we used an 8085 Intel Series II MDS
running ISIS II to develop PL/M code for Intel 8086 target systems.
We later migrated to an Olivetti M24 PC-compatible that had a Kontron Z80
card fitted. This card would run ISIS II on top of the Olivetti's MS/DOS.
It allowed us to continue to use the original 8085-hosted PL/M compiler to
develop code for the 8086!
It was a superb example of bringing together different software and
systems never intended for each other to work in perfect glitch-free
Ervin Kallstrom's mds story:
My first computer was a "home brew" mds
series II that happened after I purchased a shopping cart full of various
logic boards from a salvage firm for $300.00. I was delighted when I
found a multibus cardcage and a 8080 processor based logic board with 32
mb ram (lots in those days early 80s). I found a used heavy
duty power supply that produced the many voltages needed. I used a metal
cabinet stand from a mimiograph machine and built the works in. I
could remove the top and the door opened for frontal access for
service. I purchased a tec 630 terminal and wired the intellect
control panel led and buttons in the front panel of the terminal. When all
was complete, I turned it on and the screen message was "Failure PIO
not responding". I did not realize at the time that I had
a working intellect on hand!!
I contacted Intel and the
folks there sent out a complete set of manuals and schematics for the
system gratis! I was now about to make the cables to connect the
I purchased a pair of Tandon half height double sided , double
densitity diskette drives for $250.00 each then also located the two
multibus boards that made up the disk subsystem.
I found some diskettes that had the isis operating system and some unknown
programs on them. After some dirty contact problems , I finally got
the system to boot up, but still with that "Failure PIO not
responding" message which now I understood to mean "parallel
in-out not responding". Didn't matter because I used the
My son went to Paradise Valley high school in Phoenix at that time and
advised me that one of his teachers was familiar with the intellect system
and from the teacher I obtained a diskette with one program that was
labeled WS.COM which was Wordstar. but my computer was an ISIS system..
I found an engineer Gary Forbes that
had a number of intellects running on CPM-80 and he did a modification to
the cpm system that I bought from Digital Research to run on the
Intellect.. I now had the best of two worlds.. The
CPM for the large number of available programs at that time and the
ISIS system for expermenting!..
I used that system and developed an accounting product running on CPM and
later upgraded (and slowed down considerably) when I purchased a new
Zenith pc to join the modern world where 5.25 inch diskettes
were the norm!
By the way, I have a working complete mds 230 running system II and system
III software with the original huge diskette drives!
Erik Jordan recalls:
I encountered an Intellec Series II Model 230 in 2004. It was donated to us, along with a myriad of other components such as Eeprom burners and the like, to my Vocational School. It was too old to be used by the school, so we were instructed to disassemble it to learn how it worked and could ask to keep certain parts. It was quite a learning experience disassembling this old unit, and it came with the main box, the monitor, and a dual 8" floppy drive