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S > SEEQUA  > CHAMELEON


 

This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Seequa  CHAMELEON computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

  Click Here to add a message in the forum

 

Wednesday 4th May 2011
JuneJ (glen burnie,md)

Worked for the company from 1983 to 1985. Started in the assembly part and ended as what the called line leader in the final test area. Had a lot fun working with them.


Thursday 30th September 2010
Kay (South Carolina)

I met my husband while working at Seequa in 1984! I am surprised that there are so many still in existence. We do not own a Chameleon but I still have my husband and 4 kids!! Tony - I remember you!!!


Monday 24th May 2010
Letchie (USA)

I worked for Seequa and remember the first shipment leaving the building!!! I am so impressed that some of you still have this computer.

Dave, Dave, John and Kip worked so hard to make this company a success. It was fun while it lasted!!!


Tuesday 4th May 2004
Tony D (Reisterstown, MD)

I worked at the factory between 12/83 & 9/84. I finally acquired a Chameleon in 2001 from it's original owner (Boulder Colorado)!


Saturday 5th April 2003
Jack (Pittsburgh)

Any other former Chameleon owners out there?
I still have mine !


Thursday 19th October 2006
Ted Ward (USA)

This was my first PC. I got it in probably 1984 may 83. I bought it used for about $1000 with two SS/SD floppy drives in it and 128k ram. It had some build in non-volatile ram used for BIOS configuration I think (don't remember). I think it was called "bubble memory". The computer had a lot of things built into the motherboard that you could expand give the know-how. Things like joystick ports etc... I bought a book from Seequa (80 dollars for a thin photocopy job) that showed how to configure a lot of these things. The computer finally died when a professor at a local junior college helped me plug in some extra memory chips to expand its memory to 256k, but failed to add the required "terminating resistor" chip. After random failures for a month or two, it just died.


Friday 11th August 2006
Charles Aulds (New Brunswick, Canada)
Aulds Windchase Farms

I bought my Chamelon in early 1984. In December of that year, I went to work in Heidelberg, West Germany as a civilian employee of the US Army European Headquarters. I took my Chameleon with me. One IBM-PC incompatiblity of the Chameleon was non-standard BIOS addresses for the two serial ports (remember COM1:3F8H and COM2:2F8H?). Common MS-DOS communications software (like Kermit, Crosstalk, Procomm) wouldn't work with the Chameleon, so I wrote a simple program in Turbo Pascal (packaged on a single 5.25" floppy) that would work with the 300 baud acoustic coupler I got from Deutsche Bundespost. I also wrote a multiuser BBS with Turbo Pascal that could respond to an indialing computer and kept messages and user information in random-access disk files (no database).

It worked fine, until I came back to the US in 1988, and tried to use it with a 1200bps modem; the program couldn't keep up with the data and I had lost characters.

That program was one of the most challenging programming tasks I ever tackled, when I think back ... I remember it used some techniques that were pretty fancy in those days (like code overlays) to be able to fit itself into 16kb (KILObytes, not MEGAbytes) of RAM.


Wednesday 25th June 2014
Tom (Tulsa, OK USA)

This was my first PC, I traded for it in ''86. Started out playing Jet 1.0 off of DOS 2.0 boot disk. I worked for MicroAge at the time, so pretty quickly I had a 20MB full-height Tandem HD and a IBM EGA card installed and running. Connected to a external CGA monitor, I could display 16 colors in Space Quest and LL Larry. $) Connected to local BBSs using Crosstalk and a external Microcom AX2400 connected with a hacked cable to work with the Chameleon''s non-standard RS-232 port.


Thursday 31st October 2013
John Daniels (USA)

I bought one brand new from a computer retail store in the mall around 1982. I believe I paid around $2,500. It was an awesome computer$ built like a tank. I never had any problems with it and, in fact, I still have it along with all of the original software packed up and stored in my garage. I can''t seem to let go of it$ (sentimental reasons I guess). Maybe someday, it can go to a museum! Unbelievably, it still works! I learned a lot on that computer. I would spend so much time looking at that little green screen that, when I would look away, everything looked purple. Weird. I used an Epson dot-matrix computer with it. It was my "main" until I replaced it years later with a computer with a hard drive and significantly more memory.


Saturday 16th February 2013
Dan Riss (USA)

TribunePhotos store on ebay has photos for sale of inside Seequa Co taken in April 1983. One shows women on assembly line. as of this date, 16 Feb 2013


Saturday 28th July 2012
Alexander Brandon (United States)

For those that worked at Seequa, where was it located? Very cool to see posts of those who built them. They were rock solid. Don''t see as much of that these days outside of Toughbook...


Friday 19th November 2010
Wayne (Maryland USA)

This was my first computer back in 1985. Two 360k floppy drives, no hard drive, 256k memory and 9 inch green built in monitor. Yeah it was portable but it weighed a ton. Used it for about 5 years kept it for another 10 before finally tossing it. I think I still have some of the 5.25" floppies that came with it around here. It ran everything that an IBM PC would run. Had built in graphics so I could play early "Donkey Kong." A couple of my friends use to work for them. Paid about $1500 for it new.


Tuesday 19th October 2010
Kurt (OK/USA)

Still have one, modified it with a 200W power supply that replaced the barely able to boot 90w OEM. Bought it used and installed a V20 and 8087 along with two new drives. Did a lot of Z80 and x86 assembler on that machine, and got surprised by the Ebay prices for this venerable boxen.
BTW, I still have the CP/M and DOS diskettes around here along with several mauals and OEM proggies..


Friday 4th June 2010
John (NY/USA)

My father got this for $3,500 new at World Computers in Westbury, NY in the early 1980''s. It had glitches. I think we were ripped off on the price. It wouldn''t even boot later versions of DOS. It had no standard expansion bus. It was really heavy. I finally tossed it out in the trash in 2007. The choices were this, the original Compaq and the Kaypro with the tiny screen that ran CP/M. I wish we got nothing and waited a year....


Wednesday 23rd August 2006
RJC (USA)

I bought mine in early 1985. Two floppy drives, 256K RAM. I used it in engineering grad school and later on. I remember buying an 8087 math chip to speed up Fortran programs, and a chip which was a plug-in replacement for the 8088 but ran about 10% faster.

I seem to remember that besides the non-standard serial port BIOS addresses, there was also an issue with the serial port pinout that required a special cable for use with modems.

Prior to buying this computer I had used CP/M systems and I chose the Chameleon because it also had the Z80 chip. Of course, I don't think I booted CP/M more than a handful of times...After three years I bought a PC's Limited clone (now known as Dell) and gave to Chameleon to my sister.


Tuesday 7th March 2006
Carol (San Fernando Valley, CA)

I still have my Chameleon with manuals & all the disks. It still boots and runs for awhile and then shuts down. Guess it needs a new cooling system, but oh well. I still love it and would never get rid of it.


Wednesday 22nd June 2005
Abigaildog (USA)

1st computer. Total package ~ $5,000 dollars.. in 1983! Inculded C-Itoh printer, Lotus 123 & Wordstar. Still have it, had one bios upgrade and it would get the "fuzzies" sometime. Very susceptible to static discharge. Had a routine where I would touch the lamp on my desk before touching the keyboard to discharge the spark. RFI was horrific.. poor neighbor thought I was cooking up some spy devices since it KILLED his TV reception. Helped me learn a lot about computers, including spreadsheets. Retired it when a used IBM AT came along, which of course had both drives fail as they all did.


Tuesday 14th June 2005
Tim (Eastern NC)

My first store bought computer bought in 1984 for $1500. With 256k of ram, the store manager said I would never need any more! Used it through college and a little there after. Next computer was a "ubuildit clone". I later sold it at a Hamfest for $100.


Friday 1st April 2005
Norman (Newberry, SC)

I gave my Chameleon away after I acquired a PC Brand Desktop model. I wish I had held onto it for old times sake.


Friday 4th February 2005
Mike (Portsmouth Ohio)

I have 4 of these monsters that I would like to sell. They all boot and all the screens work. The cases are in good condition w/keyboard. Im am unsure if the drives work, due to not having a disk this old.....
write me fo more info of shoot me a price.....


Wednesday 1st December 2004
editor (MI)

I bought a Chameleon in 1983 and still have it. What a innovation it was then. I have the padded carrying case, manual, and a few extra parts and boards. It still boots, but I need binoculars to read the screen. :)


Saturday 27th September 2003
Computer Bob (Northern Virginia)

I remember the factory near Rt. 175 on Rt. 170 near Ft. Meade in Odenton, Maryland. I worked at Meade and often used to eat at a Chinese restaurant across from the factory. Instead of a formal sign on the side of the rather large building, they had a banner with the name Seequa Chameleon. Maybe the banner was an indication of the temporary nature of the business? There were a lot of computer makers on those days and a shakeout was inevitable.





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