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Altos Computer Systems

The ACS-8xxx were multi-user systems. They could support from 1 to 4 users, but you could also get them in versions for up to 9 users and a supervisor. In appearance, they were large and heavy rectangular desktop boxes with Z80 or 68000 CPUs (ACS-68000 series).

They used a large custom single-board computer the size of the case. The drive controller was a separate half-card mounted on top of the SBC. The early 8000s had separate cases for the 8" FD & HD. In later models the drives and cards were integrated into the same case.

The 8000 systems were labeled ACS-8000-x, where x indicates the size of the disk-drive and hard disk :

x=1 : 500 kb (SS/SD) FDD
x=2 : 1000 kb (DS/SD) FDD
x=3 : 1000 kb (SS/DD) FDD
x=4 : 2000 kb (DS/DD) FDD
x=10 : 10 Mb HD
x=12 : 20 Mb HD
x=14 : 40 Mb HD

The ACS-8000 had a 10, 20 or 40 MB Winchester hard-drive and could be upgraded to 80 MB. Hard-disk models also had disk-drives. CP/M, MP/M II or Oasis were the available operating systems.
The ACS-8000 MTU had a 17 MB magnetic streamer.

The ACS-8000 was quite similar to the Altos Serie 5 but was more powerful.

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


I programmed one of these using dBaseII in the early 80s. It used the MPM operating system and could have several Televideo dumb terminals attached. It had a 10MB hard drive. I still have it! I''m starting to try to figure out how to sell it.

Thursday 13rd September 2018
Steve (USA)

My father used one of these systems in his office for the food research laboratory he worked at in the late 70''s. I remember the 8" floppy drives were separate from the processor. There was a big blue CRT/keyboard terminal of unknown make, and a big floor standing Texas Instruments dot matrix printer. I believe the system was serial connected to several pieces of lab equipment. I was only 7 or 8 at the time, and this whole thing fascinated me, it was the cat''s meow.

Wednesday 29th November 2017
Mike P.  (USA)

Used an Altos 8000 running UCSD p-system natively in my first job back in ''84. 48k ram, split over 4 users with some shared memory for semaphores etc.
Needed to use overlays in p-system to handle the larger programmes. Each overlay had to have the same procedure names in the smae location to work.
I remember with the 20MB version you needed to toggle the on/off switch a few time to get the drive up to speed before it would boot from it.

Tuesday 18th November 2014
medge (Australia)


NAME  ACS-8000
MANUFACTURER  Altos Computer Systems
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1978
KEYBOARD  Terminal keyboard
SPEED  4 Mhz
RAM  From 32 kb to 208 kb
ROM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  Display features depend on the attached terminal
SIZE / WEIGHT  designed to fit a standard 19
I/O PORTS  several RS232 ports (depending on models), parallel
BUILT IN MEDIA  8'' disk-drives : from 512 kb to 2 Mb
10, 20 or 40 Mb Winchester hard-disk (upgradable to 80 Mb)
17 Mb magnetic streamer (ACS-8000 MTU only)
OS  CP/M, MP/M, MP/M II and Oasis

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