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kns
July 14th, 2003, 04:51 PM
Hello,

Several years ago I was able to rescue an Altair 8800b and and IMSAI PCS 80/30 from the scrap-heap, including a great deal of documentation. The one component I find most interesting is the Matrox Altr-2480 video board inside the Altair. Yes, I also have the documentation (Feb 1980). The interesting bit is that I can't find any reference to this card's existence. Is this a standard card that's never mentioned or is it in fact a special find?

Thanks,
kns

Erik
July 14th, 2003, 09:08 PM
I'm not sure about this particular card but I do know that Matrox was producing S-100 video cards as far back as the late 1970s. The one you have sounds like a 24 line by 80 column (just a guess from the name) video terminal card.

I wouldn't call Matrox video cards exactly rare, but they weren't exactly a popular brand back then.

As far as being a special find, working S-100 cards with documentation are always special! :)

An Altair and an IMSAI from the same rescue sounds like a really great day to me!

Erik

kns
July 15th, 2003, 05:37 AM
Thanks. As I said the puzzling part was not being able to find any references to the board,...Perhaps I'll have to make a PDF of the documentation for distribution.

The shame about my "collection" is that the machines were saved at the last minute, which was too late for the possibly dozens of other old systems my department trashed (in the preceeding weeks).

kns

Erik
July 15th, 2003, 07:29 AM
Perhaps I'll have to make a PDF of the documentation for distribution.

That would be great! If you can't make or host the PDF I know of a couple of folks with sites that do that kind of thing. I also know that Herb Johnson is always looking for S-100 documents to add to his collection. He also sells copies of manuals he has for very reasonable prices.



The shame about my "collection" is that the machines were saved at the last minute, which was too late for the possibly dozens of other old systems my department trashed (in the preceeding weeks).

That is a shame, but it's better then all of them having been trashed, I guess.

There are fine old systems hitting the dumpster daily. Every rescue is a good thing.

When did you recover these systems and where did you get them? Maybe there are some more gathering dust on shelves in storage somewhere! :)

Erik

kns
July 15th, 2003, 11:25 AM
I should be able to make the PDF available in a week or two...

With respect to the computers, they were recovered about 2 years ago. My department (university) was undergoing renovations and all non-essential items were being tossed. So, nothing remains other that the Imsai, Altair, and a couple other pieces. I believe the department kept a few pieces for their museum.

kns

olddataman
October 25th, 2003, 08:57 AM
I was a computer retailer from early 1976 until late 1983, and was very aware of Matrox products most, if not all, of that perioid. They made many configuraions of alphanumeric display products, and we sold some of them to customers who demanded them, but there was always a problem of obtaining them at a reasonalble price that allowed us to make even a small profit. Matrox did not have a marketing setup in this country and the process of importing them from Canada in small quantities was expensive. I think this is the reason they were not better known.
Has anyone tried to see if they are still in business? If they are, or their sccessor could be found, documentaion might be available.

Erik
October 25th, 2003, 10:31 AM
Unless it's a new company with the same name, Matrox (http://www.matrox.com/) is still in business in Canada making video products.

I don't know if they'd still have old docs, but it's worth a question. . . :)

Erik

vic user
October 25th, 2003, 05:35 PM
I have dealt with Matrox in the past, when I wanted to upgrade my video card on my 386, years ago.

They were good to deal with, and I got the impression that if I wanted, I could contact via e-mail, employess specific to certain products Matrox were manufacturing, unlike certain companies like HP (but I won't get into that).

Try and contact them, you never know.

Chris

kns
November 5th, 2003, 08:26 PM
First, I still intend to scan the documentation for the Altr-2480. It's the original and in good shape.

I did make a posting to one of the Matrox discussion forums, perhaps a year or more ago, but they could not confirm the history of their early cards.

From this same documentation the mailing address for Matrox is in Quebec, same as today - same company.

Ken