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Q > Q1 CORPORATION > Q1 System   

Q1 System

Photograph of the desktop console of the world's first microcomputer system. It utilized the Intel 8008 single-chip microprocessor.

The computer system was developed and manufactured by Q1 Corporation. They delivered the first microcomputer system to the Litcom Division of Litton Industries in Melville, Long Island on December 11, 1972 (and a second system in February, 1973). In April 1974 Intel introduced the second-generation, single-chip 8-bit microprocessor, the 8080. Until then, Q1 systems were the only self-contained, general-purpose microcomputer systems in the world.

In 1973, two limited-purpose products that utilized the 8008 were introduced: In May 1973 Micral, in France, introduced a special-purpose process controller; and in the fall, Jonathan Titus offered the Mark-8, an 8008 assembly-kit for the hobbyist market (Titus 1974). Neither product was, nor intended to be, a self-contained, general-purpose computer system.

In 1973, Q1 microcomputer systems were installed in Europe (Germany) and Asia (Hong Kong).

The Q1 System remained the world's only self-contained, general purpose microcomputer system until Intel introduced the 8080 second generation microprocessor.

Apparently, Q1 also delivered some of NASA's computers.


Source: Daniel Alroy and his website

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I worked at Q1 when it started out in farmingdale in the mid 70''s- early 80''s
worked as a bench tech then field service. worked there about 5 yrs
worked with Glen Malm and a bunch of other great guys, Those were the days. we were exhibiting in MGM grand during COMDEX when the MGM had the Fire that took 82 lives. while i was with Q1 we went from the 8080 to the z80. 8 inch floppys to 5 1/4 inch floppys
also offered Ball Multi platter drives, had a console with a daisy wheel printer and Liquid plasma display.
even had a commercial on tv during the very first space shuttle launch.

Wednesday 4th December 2019
gregory blake (ronkonkoma)

WOW! I still have some of the manuals! They include the pseudo ops for the PL/1 interpreter (removed from later manuals as this gave away things).

Let''s see I remember Hope, Sandy, Coleen/Doreen (twins, forget which one worked there), and John... amongst others. A sales person Charles (Castelli?).

I came up with a paired set of Q1 Lite by replacing some of the ROMs and using a sync. modem. This allowed remote access.

DTERM, the terminal program was mine too. Karl provided some of the base code, written is assembler.

I did a simple Real Time Executive (RTE) that allowed two program to run "at the same time"... provided memory was allocated just so (no memory protection).

Many of the utilities were written in the PL/1 dialect although once we have C, we wrote some in that too.

For many decades my computer desk was an old Q1 desk, from an LMC. The frame has room for up to 4 8" floppies. It''s long gone now...

I remember after Rick had left he was called back in as a consultant to fix a complex issue with ENTER, the word processor.

Another memory, playing with the bubble memory machine. As I recall multiple 92 KiB modules.

John was in the MGM Grand fire but survived without a scratch. As I recall all Q1 personnel made it out OK.

Sunday 25th August 2019
Mark Bellon (San Jose CA USA)

Hey Donald, Karl, Bob! Hey Rick!

I worked @ Q1 too, 1978 and on. I did lots of work on the utilities (e.g. sort, serial communication), worked with the early C compiler (Donald, as I recall you did a lot on it), math libraries and other items.

I left while the 68000 machine was being finalized.

Sunday 25th August 2019
Mark Bellon (San Jose CA USA)


NAME  Q1 System
MANUFACTURER  Q1 Corporation
YEAR  1972
CONTROLLERS  teletype style console
CPU  Intel 8008
SCORE  Unknown
ROM  Unknown
SOUND  Unknown
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Unknown
GUN  Unknown
PRICE  Unknown

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