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Securix
November 22nd, 2009, 07:55 AM
Hi all,

I may have the chance to obtain this, but I'm not familiar with this line. Can anyone offer suggestions on making an offer?

"I have a complete Seattle Computer Products S-100 system with 8086 CPU, CPU Supplement Board, 256K Static RAM (4 SCP cards), floppy controller, multi-serial, etc. It has 3 x 8" floppy drives and 2 x 5.25" drives, plus a Televideo 950 terminal. It's in perfect condition with several original manuals. I have several boxes of 8" floppy disks including compilers for various languages (including Borland's Turbo Pascal 3.0), word processors, assemblers and more."

monahan_z
November 22nd, 2009, 09:46 AM
That would be a great find and a fairly rare setup. Assuming boards (not a S-100 complete sysrem), well into the 100's I would estimate.

They were in fact a fairly well known company. Being the precursor to MS-DOS -- a long story.
See:-
http://s100computers.com/Hardware%20Folder/Seattle%20Computer%20Products/History/History.htm

mkstabd
November 22nd, 2009, 02:56 PM
Too funny, but I came to this forum to post the same question about the same system that Securix is asking about. It's my system! (See attached image)

Here are some details:
1 x SCP-210 CPU Board
1 x SCP-301 CPU Support Board
1 x SCP-110 64K Static RAM Board (qty 4)
1 x SCP-500 Disk Master Disk Controller
1 x SCP-400 Multiport Serial Card
3 x QumeTrak 8" Floppy Drives
2 x 5.25" Floppy drives (I think 8 sector 160K/320K drives)
1 x Televideo 950 Terminal
1 x 18 slot backplane

Original docs for the cards listed above and 2 volumes about DOS programming and usage. I also have a box of Dysan 8" floppies that is still shrink wrapped, plus lots of other programs and the original Seattle Computer Products labeled DOS disks (MS-DOS 2.0)

Everything works.

I'm trying to figure out what a system like this might be worth. I'm guessing the historical link to Tim Paterson and QDOS/86-DOS/MS-DOS could be significant. Plus, the system is complete and functional. I appreciate any insights you guys can offer.

mkstabd
November 22nd, 2009, 03:40 PM
One more image. Top down view of the inside of the S-100 enclosure. (See attached)

Securix
November 22nd, 2009, 07:24 PM
Too funny, but I came to this forum to post the same question about the same system that Securix is asking about. It's my system! (See attached image)



Hah, well, small world of vintage collectors I guess. ;)

It's a gorgeous, clean system...definitely interested in making an offer.

billdeg
November 22nd, 2009, 08:13 PM
This is a 1981-83 system. Check Byte mags of this era for ads. This is one of the IEEE 696 class systems, a later S-100 competing in the business market. A peer of California Computer Systems 2200, Compupro, Action Computer Enterprise, etc. If the Televideo terminal came with the system, that will help put a date on it too, if you can't find any ads for the computer itself. I think it's a cool system, I hope you can come to an agreement.
Bill

Erik
November 25th, 2009, 08:19 AM
the original Seattle Computer Products labeled DOS disks (MS-DOS 2.0)
This could be the "prize" of the system.

The S-100 bus machine is nice, especially working, but it's not super-rare or super valuable, IMO. There are lots of early 1980s S-100 machines out there.

The Seattle Computer Products/Microsoft DOS story makes an early copy of SCP DOS (Q-DOS) worth bank, but this appears to be a later, post Microsoft, copy which means that it's probably not worth as much although the 8" MS-DOS disks are pretty damn cool. :)

Good luck to you both!

billdeg
November 25th, 2009, 08:47 AM
I agree.

The whole class of 80's S-100 systems running exotic versions of DOS, CPM, Concurrent DOS, Pascal, etc. is worth exploring historically.

This class of system may have been one of the casualties left by the introduction of the IBM PC / ISA bus, but in 1981 the S-100's were still more powerful than the 5150.

Imagine if you were going to buy a small business computer and having to choose between the IBM PC and a Seattle CP system capable of supporting 256K RAM, various versions of DOS and CP/M, 8086/8085/Z80, 8" drives. It's not a surprise that many people chose the more-known S-100 route in 1981. The advantage did not last obviously.

If you ask me, the difference came down to CP/M vs. DOS, IBM marketing vs. local distributors, and availability of a more broad library of IBM software. As painful as it was in the early DOS days to get a printer to work with a PC, it was always harder to duplicate the same task on a CP/M system.

How many copies of IBM CP/M 86 were purchased and of those how many were chucked/never opened? Does anyone have one? CP/M was great for it's time, but MS DOS is better in so many ways.

I am now ducking to avoid the things being thrown at me.

Bill

mkstabd
November 25th, 2009, 11:19 AM
I've been doing a lot more research on my system this week. I was able to get Tim Paterson himself to look at my system pics and he confirmed a couple of things: all of the cards are definitely Seattle Computer Products (SCP), but the drives and S-100 enclosure are from another source. (He helped design some of the cards, BTW) That being said, the enclosures are indeed commercial grade, nevertheless. I'm not sure who built the system. There are no markings of any kind on the cases. I have the original SCP manuals for all the cards, plus SCP documentation for MS-DOS Programming and User's Guides. Plus, SCP DOS disks. So, I guess one could argue that the box is essentially an SCP box.

Here's a link to a quick and dirty website (http://bartosh.us/s-100) I threw together to show more details and photos. I'm adding to this daily until I get it all captured. I've also just disassembled, cleaned and reassembled it so that I could 1) get the dust out of it and 2) get any markings I could find photographed and cataloged.

Based upon the copyright dates in the docs (anywhere from 1981 through 1984), this is definitely a post Microsoft box as Erik asserted.

Tim Paterson also told me that he, unfortunately, didn't keep a copy of QDOS or 86-DOS (I had asked him to share a copy :-). His earliest copy is the same as my earliest copy: MS-DOS v1.25. I found copies of 86-DOS on the 'net, but no QDOS. I have a picture of my original diskettes with SCP MS-DOS v2.0 labels on my site.

The Computer History Museum (http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102636695) in Silicon Valley has an SCP suggested retail price list in their archives from 1983. I would very much like to see that! Would anyone happen to live in the Bay area and have a camera phone? hehe

Ty

offensive_Jerk
November 25th, 2009, 02:28 PM
Just read your website.

Kinda off topic, but if you kept this, did you keep your IBM compatible you bought in 1987?

mkstabd
November 25th, 2009, 03:18 PM
No, I didn't keep it. I started a software business in 1987 that required us to build clones that supported PC-MOS/386 as multi-user servers, so I sold that off as inventory early on. I did, however, start collecting Sun boxes (http://bartosh.us/sun) for several years. I'm selling off most of that collection so I can obsess over Macs for awhile. In the meantime, I'm totally distracted by my S-100 system (http://bartosh.us/s-100).

mkstabd
November 25th, 2009, 10:48 PM
FINALLY, a break! I may have found a match for my system. It turns out my enclosures look identical to the ones used by NNC Electronics, or "No Name Computers". There is a good picture at this link (http://oldcomputers.net/NNC.html). While this is not my exact case, it is too similar not to be a match. Does anyone know about "No Name Computers" or NNC Electronics? If this is my system, then all I'm missing is a badge.

This would also make sense given that "NNC 100" is displayed on the backplane and "NNC-100-2" is cast into the back of the front plate of my dual floppy drive enclosure. I am trying to research this company. Someone with access to Byte Magazine or something similar will probably be able to find my system quickly. Probably between 1983 and 1984. Cool!

Update: Here are some more pics that help me confirm I indeed have an NNC (enclosure, at least): pic1 (http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/vec_4478.jpg) and pic2 (http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/vec_4479.jpg) from Herb's old computers site. He has them listed as Vector Graphics, but the emblem on the front panel says NNC Electronics. I think he's refering to the CPU card. The enclosure in these pics is a dead-on match.

Update 2: Here's a link (http://archive.netbsd.se/?ml=cctalk&a=2007-11&t=5801892) where someone talks about NNC (aka "No Name Computers") making enclosures with main boards and power supplies only. If this is what I have, then they at least made my dual floppy case and my S-100 case, and probably the 3rd external floppy case as well.

NobodyIsHere
November 26th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Hi! Funny! That NNC is my Vector Graphic system I restored a year or so ago. It works great. I think NNC formed out of the remains of Vector Graphic since the NNC machines internally were 100% VG except for the case logo.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

mkstabd
November 26th, 2009, 06:52 PM
Hi, Andrew! LOL, the vintage computer community is a small world indeed! That's a very nice looking system. What kind of shape was it in when you started your restoration?

I was very glad to find those photos. It's been quite a challenge for me to identify my system and the photos really helped.

I noticed you refer to your machine as your Vector Graphics system, even though it sounds like it was originally assembled by NNC and is badged as such. I'm convinced my enclosures are NNC too, just without the badge. Since my system is 100% Seattle Computer Products cards inside an NNC enclosure, I'm still reluctant to call it a Seattle Computer Products machine. I mean, the argument could be made that it's effectively an SCP box since it has all SCP guts that initializes with an SCP monitor and boots SCP labeled DOS disks. How should I identify this system when someone asks me what "system" I have? I want to be able to give an accurate answer that doesn't misrepresent anything, but saying "Seattle Computer Products cards in an NNC enclosure with 3 Qume external drives, also in NNC enclosures, and a Televideo 950 terminal" takes too long to say!! :-)

Thanks a lot,

Ty

Al Kossow
December 12th, 2009, 06:47 PM
The Computer History Museum (http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102636695) in Silicon Valley has an SCP suggested retail price list in their archives from 1983. I would very much like to see that! Would anyone happen to live in the Bay area and have a camera phone? hehe

Ty

I should be able to scan that. Do you have any way to dump the SCP eprom?
Also, I don't think we have a complete set of docs in the museum collection, is there any way to get copies?

mkstabd
December 12th, 2009, 09:29 PM
I should be able to scan that. Do you have any way to dump the SCP eprom?
Also, I don't think we have a complete set of docs in the museum collection, is there any way to get copies?

Hi, Al:

That would be great if you could get me a copy of that price list! And yes, I am planning to scan all my docs, so you're welcome to copies of them. I'll be posting PDFs on my website (http://bartosh.us/s-100) when they're done, hopefully before the end of the month. I'll also extract a copy of the system monitor and post it as well.

Thanks,

Ty

Al Kossow
December 13th, 2009, 09:00 AM
What we have now is up under seattleComputer on bitsavers.
The documentation appears to have come from the Gazelle system
we have.