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Thread: Saver of Lost Sols

  1. #1

    Default Saver of Lost Sols

    My first personal computer was a Sol-20, back in 1977, so it has remained my favorite. I now have several plus a Helios disk drive (still no time, room or courage to plug it in!) plus a fair amount of original cassette and disk software and documentation. My next machine was a NorthStar Horizon, then a Morrow Decision I (mostly because it could read both the N* hard-sectored disks as well as soft-sectored formats). I now have one of each with hard drives. Over the past 6-7 years I have added other S-100 machines - CompuPro, Ithaca InterSystems, an IMSAI and finally an Alair 8800 - plus many S-100 boards. I have a few Apple II+'s, a new in box Apple IIe, a Lisa/MacXL in original box (a store demo unit), and a 512K Mac. I aslo have a plastic carrying-cased store demo of a PC Jr.

    I guess I'd call myself an early power user - I know which end of a soldering iron to hold onto and can tell a resistor from a capacitor - my longest machine language programming was a 7 byte subroutine, but I programmed mostly in BASIC, FORTRAN, a little MUMPS, and dBASE. I co-founded the Regina Owners of Microcomputer Systems and taught an introduction to microcomputers adult ed course for several years in the late '70's and early '80's. I spoke at one of the West Coast Computer Faires ("Expanding Your Horizon"), helped start the International NorthStar User's Association, contributed review articles to it as well to Sol Libe's S-100 Microsystems magazine, and even bought NorthStar software from John Dvorak when he sold it out of his home! I sold NorthStar Horizons and KayPro's (mostly) as a VAR in Saskatchewan for about 2 years. I also conceived of and directed the development of a WP boilerplate management program called DocuPower for both CP/M and MS-DOS which sold several hundred copies! In 1984 I scanned all the Sherlock Holmes stories (1100+ pages) and produced and sold An Electronic Holmes Companion (about 400 copies). In 1985 I conceived of and directed the HAL brainwave analyzer which Steve Ciarcia featured in 2 of his BYTE magazine articles. I am still a member of the Connecticut Computer (and now Culinary!) Club and meet with Steve and other club members 10 times a year for dinner and discussion.

    I have other vintage machines, but S-100 and CP/M are my favorites.

    So, if I'm so smart, how come I ain't rich?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Saver of Lost Sols

    Quote Originally Posted by bobstek
    I have other vintage machines, but S-100 and CP/M are my favorites.
    Hello Bob and welcome to the VC Forum!

    You have one hell of an awesome collection! I'm right with you in preferring S-100 and CP/M machines (I've got several). I've always coveted the SOL and Ithica machines which you've got examples of...

    Quote Originally Posted by bobstek
    So, if I'm so smart, how come I ain't rich?
    I ask myself that question almost every day!

    Enjoy the forums!


  3. #3

    Default Hello and Welcome

    Hello Bob
    Welcome to you too. I have come to regret every Ebay sale I made over the past three or so years. If I had spent some time researching the field of collcting vintage computers, I would have realized what a great basis I owned to build on.
    Anyway, I still have a lot of stuff and am beginning to collect contributions of vintage items that old friends and associates have collected over the years and are holding until a good home can be found for it.
    So, I'm in the process of developing a web-site of my own which has the same name as my old computer store: which is only partially up. It should be getting there by mid-October. One can only log into the Guest Book now. So, watch for it and when it is ready send me a "wishs list" and I'll see what I can do.
    Pioneer Purveyor of Personal Processing Power

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Amarillo, TX


    Hi Bob, and let me add my welcome.

    I also have a Sol which I rescued from the dumpster. It's in fairly nice shape except for one major pain...THE KEYBOARD DOESN'T WORK FOR S*&T!

    Any suggestions on where I can either get it rebuilt or get a rebuild kit for it?



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