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M > MORROW DESIGNS > Decision 1   

Morrow Designs
Decision 1

The Decision 1 is one of the last S-100 BUS based computer generation. Morrow Designs held it as the most flexible of all.

On top of a classical CP/M 2.2 operating system, it also featured a special 8 bits version of Unix called Micronix, which allowed the compilation of many programs written in C for other machines under Unix.

The Decision 1’s multi user version allowed to manage up to 15 users and 20 simultaneous tasks. According to Morrow Designs, testing confirmed the Decision 1 was faster than any competing system based on 16 bits 68000 microprocessors.


Bert Greeley adds:
I was working for George from 1979-81 when that machine was developed. About disk drives, originally, we used a 14" Shugart 14mb hard drive and Shugart 8" full-height floppy drives. We then went to the Tandon 1/2 height 8" drives, then to a 5" floppy drive whose manufacturer I don't remember. When Memorex came out with their 8"-5mb hard drive, we switched to them, then the 10mb version. BTW - the Decision II - or, as we called it, the "boat anchor" - was developed about the same time. This was the under-the-table box that was about 18"wide, 14" tall and 30" deep, as I recall. It was designed to fit in a rack-mount. Al (another Morrow employee at the time) and I installed 28 of these beasts at Micro Pro across the bay in San Rafael. My first job with George was rebuilding and aligning the heads on the floppy drives.

Also - the 68000-based systems were what caused the death of Morrow Designs - that and the S-100 buss. We couldn't get reliable speed above 8mHz with an 8-bit buss (Z-80). George toyed with the 8086 but he was steadfastly against a 16-bit OS. At least until after I left in '81. That's something about him I never understood.

I still have my original Imsai 8080 chassis with several Morrow S-100 cards. I don't have the drives any more, so the box doesn't run. I do have the OS, however, plus the source-code for the OS. At one point, I was promoted into writing assembly code for these machines. That led to my 27 or so years as a programmer.

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I have a lot of these, maybe half a dozen, none truly working. however, I have a user mode simulator that runs micronix in emulation under linux, and a hardware simulator that is good enough to run CP/M. the simulator is still buggy under micronix (interrupts are busted), but it''s getting close. it''s all on github.

Saturday 4th September 2021
curt mayer (USA)

I bought one with four 64k banks, a 16MB drive and Micronix for my father business in - I believe - 1982. Unfortunately the hard disk kept freezing due to a disk controller issue. Distance and lack of Internet did not help, and the local importer was of little help as well. So we used it with floppy and CP/M for a while, then we returned it and replaced it with an Olivetti M24. That was the second Unix machine in town, after a Cromemco System Three at the university.

Friday 19th August 2016
furio ercolessi (Italy)

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these, I have one in pristine condition. It includes a serial terminal + dust cover, a cp/m primer+programming guide, cp/m 2.2, wordstar, extra disks and 2 diskholders, 2 8 inch disk dirves. The main unit has 2 64k memory cards, disk controller, z80 cpu card. it is currently not functioning because the dip switch settings on the terminal are not set correctly. I have documentation on what each switch means, but no idea what they should be set to. Somebody who has a good amount of knowledge about these comps would be able to fix it easily. Please direct any ?'s to If nobody is interested in purchacing it act quickly, if no buyer is found I will put it up for auction on ebay after I fix it.

Sunday 22nd December 2002
Adrien Holtzman (Oshkosh, WI)


NAME  Decision 1
MANUFACTURER  Morrow Designs
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1982
KEYBOARD  Uses a serial video terminal
CPU  Z80-A
SPEED  4 Mhz
RAM  64 Kb / 128 Kb depending on models
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  80 chars. x 25 lines
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Beeper
I/O PORTS  14 x S-100 slots, 3 x serial and 2 x parallel ports
BUILT IN MEDIA  1 or 2 x 5.25'' 400/800 Kb floppy disk drives
or 2 x 8'' 1Mb Kb floppy disk drives
OS  CP/M 2.2, Micronix
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply
PERIPHERALS  S-100 boards
PRICE  $3,495 - 2 x F.D.D version with CP/M 2.2 and WordStar
$5,295 - 5 MB hard-disk version
$7,290 - Three-user hard-disk version with Micronix O.S.

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