If you examine about the historical past of personal computing, you hear a number of common names like Microsoft, Apple, and even Commodore. But there were a host of firms that were being nicely acknowledged and properly regarded again then that are all but forgotten these days. Godbout computing, Ohio Scientific, and Southwest Specialized Items (SWTP). SWTP is probably finest remembered for having a reasonably cheap printer and “TV typewriter”, but they also made a 6800-based personal computer and [Adrian] takes us within of one.
The 6800 was Motorola’s entry into the microprocessor fray, competing with the Intel 8080. The computer system arrived out scant months immediately after the introduction of the famed Altair 8800. Whilst the Altair is usually credited as currently being the first hobbyist-quality pc, there ended up a couple of previously types dependent on the 8008, but the Altair was the first to be prosperous.
The SWTP was notable for its working day for its blank appearance. Most personal computers in people days experienced tons of switches and lights. The SWTP has a blank front with only a electric power change and a reset button. A ROM check allow you use the device with a terminal. For about the exact same price as a bare-bones Altair that experienced no interfaces or memory, you could pick just one of these up with most of the extras you would will need. The memory was only 2K, but that was 2K additional than you got with an Altair at that value level.
The $450 seems rather low-cost, but in the early 70s, that was a great deal of lawns to mow. Of training course, when you’d will need to insert memory to the Altair, you’d have to include some type of terminal to the SWTP. On the other hand, you’d wind up with a little something more usable but the overall monthly bill was likely heading to method $1,000 to get a functioning method.
Inside the box were some old-fashioned-wanting Pc boards and connectors that will seem acquainted to any person who has been within 1970s equipment. Will it do the job? We really do not know but, but we hope it does. [Adrian] promises that will be in the upcoming online video.
It is remarkable how far we have come in a lot less than 50 yrs. A postage-stamp sized $10 laptop now has plenty of velocity and memory to emulate a bunch of these old equipment all at the moment. The SWTP has been on our web pages ahead of. A large amount of these aged devices and firms are all but overlooked, but not by us!