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Thread: What happened to WaveMate?

  1. #1

    Default What happened to WaveMate?

    Hi! What ever happened to WaveMate? Are they still in business or were they bought by someone? As I recall, WaveMate made at least a couple computers such as the Bullet and the Jupiter series.

    I am a fan of the WaveMate Bullet since it is one of the nicest "all Zilog" Z80 single board computers. I haven't seen a Jupiter though as I suspect they are pretty rare.

    Does anyone know for sure if WaveMate is still around in any form? Thanks and have a nice day!

    Andrew Lynch

  2. #2
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    Google-fu to the rescue!

    Apparently, it exists, probably as a cardboard box in someone's storage locker.

    Steven Schneider, the company's GM back in 1980 when the WM Series 2000 box, is still registered as the owner of this and "American Industrial Micros" and "AIM Computer Products". Last location was a house in La Palma, CA.

    The company agent (lawyer) is listed as Earl F. Boyd, 11845 W Olympic Blvd Ste 1000 Los Angeles, CA 90064.

    You can run down Mr. Schneider yourself, if you want.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by lynchaj View Post
    Hi! What ever happened to WaveMate? Are they still in business or were they bought by someone? As I recall, WaveMate made at least a couple computers such as the Bullet and the Jupiter series.

    I am a fan of the WaveMate Bullet since it is one of the nicest "all Zilog" Z80 single board computers. I haven't seen a Jupiter though as I suspect they are pretty rare.

    Does anyone know for sure if WaveMate is still around in any form? Thanks and have a nice day!

    Andrew Lynch
    Hi Andrew!

    Wave Mate, Inc. closed the doors in 1990. I did software and hardware engineering for Wave Mate from about 1978 through 1990. I regret I didn't save much documentation on the products The first products were dubbed Jupiter and were designed by Dennis Brown. They were a backplane based system and there were two CPU cards, a Motorola 6800 followed by a Zilog Z80. The memory and peripheral cards were compatible with either CPU and there was an 8 inch floppy disk drive offered. A Z80 Jupiter was offered to, and accepted by, The Computer Museum that was established by Digital Equipment Corporation, DEC. I don't know where it is today. They were quite rare and doubtful if any in private hands survived.

    The Jupiter was followed by a system dubbed Series 2000 based on the Motorola 6800 CPU on a single board computer with a form factor that allowed it to fit inside the Heath-Zenith dumb terminal. The terminal was also used by Heath-Zenith for their Z80 based microcomputer and Wave Mate purchased them direct as the different CPUs and operating systems did not step on each other's markets The terminal also had space for a single full hi 5.25 inch floppy drive that allowed installation of two half-hi floppies. The Series 2000 used the proprietary operating system and development tools of the Jupiter 6800. Later a port of the UCSD Pascal operating system was done for the Series 2000.

    While the 6800 operating system and tools were sophisticated for the time it was clear that the right CP/M product would have higher sales volume, thus the Wave Mate Z80 Bullet single board computer was designed. It of course ran CP/M and later a 2 user MP/M bios was developed. Subsequently a "Z80 Super Bullet" with 256K of RAM was developed that targeted the 3-4 user MP/M market.

    When Digital Research released the CP/M 3.0 software Wave Mate was one of the first to sign a license as it played beautifully to the hardware architecture of the Z80 Bullet. By then the IBM PC was in ascendancy and CP/M 3.0 was too late to make a significant impression on the market. In my opinion CP/M 3.0 was 10 times better than CP/M 2.2. As there was a license all Z80 Bullets were shipped with CP/M 3.0 A buyer wanting CP/M 2.2 had to buy the license but Wave Mate continued support.

    Wave Mate resisted an 8088/8086 design but when the 80286 CPU came out a 286 IBM PC compatible board was developed that was compatible with the IBM PC. It was followed by 286, 386SX, and 386 CPU designs based on the PC form factor that could fit the standard PC case.

    It's hard to pick a high point as an engineer you always want faster hardware but certainly the Z80 Bullet ranks very high as a complete package that had high performance and low cost in its day.

    Your name seems familiar to me, perhaps we corresponded back then. Feel free to email me with questions.

    Cheers,
    Dennis

  4. Default

    Hi Andrew,

    My brother, Dennis Brown started Wavemate and created the Jupiter computers. I created the ads and graphics for him in the 70's. He sold the business and started T&E Engineering. He created a dual drive 5 1/4" floppy drive. He sold the drive and company to a computer company back east (don't remember what one). He later went to work for Digital and help break the 100 Magabyte threshold. He retired 10 years ago and lives in N. Carolina. My step father bankrolled the companies and kept some of the Jupiter computers for a long time but I'm sure there all gone now. I have an original ad I created back then along with a couple photos.

    Phil Brown

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwp View Post
    The Computer Museum that was established by Digital Equipment Corporation, DEC. I don't know where it is today.

    http://www.computerhistory.org/colle...sion/102645038

    The documenation has been archived at
    http://bitsavers.org/pdf/waveMate

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    Thanks Al for the link to the Jupiter II in the Computer History Museum! I'm moving down from SF to Sunnyvale this weekend, and plan on spending more time at the museum. If any of you on the forum find yourself in the SF Bay area on vacation, the Computer History Museum is well-worth a visit.

  7. Default

    Hello Dennis
    I just registered to this forum to tell you, that I have 3 computers with single user Wavemate boards (3.5"-, 5.25"-, 8"-FDDs booting and working) and one or the 256 kByte Super-Bullet boards for 4-users_MP/M-2.0 or 1-user_CP/M-3.0 (not working at the moment).
    In the 80th I used this systems for a Tech-newspapers editorial-office with 8 users, now I try to preserve the content of all the boot floppies and program floppies for CP/M and MP/M.
    This Wavemates where reliable and affordable at that times and still today.
    Cheers,
    Josef.

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi
    There is a mailing list for WaveMate Computers here

    http://groups.google.com/group/wavemate_computers

    The WaveMate Bullet was probably the nicest Zilog SBC made in my opinion. I've often considered making a clone board if I could contact the IP owners. So far, I've not had much luck in finding them though.

    Thanks!

    Andrew Lynch

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