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Thread: List of all Xerox computers

  1. #11
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    To me a Xerox HP tie up feels like the formation of American Motors. It's two companies in decline merging to stay alive. I don't see either the document or PC business being much of a growth industry.

    Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I saw an actual Xerox copier in an office. They almost all seem to be Konica-Minolta these days.

  2. #12
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    follow the money
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/04/carl...ition-bid.html

    It was about Icahn wanting to bleed HP dry of its assets, just like he's done to Xerox.

  3. #13
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    Many, if not most Xerox copiers are made by Fuji. It's been the situation for a long time.

    My big laser printer is a Xerox--it works well when there's ledger-sized duplex printing to be done. But for 99% of my printing a little Brother laser works just fine.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Hi there,

    I am doing research for a video project and am trying to nail down exactly how many forays into computing Xerox had over the years. I've been trying to find a comprehensive list of all their computer products but my Google-fu skills might be deserting me.

    I'm aware of:

    The Alto
    The Star
    820 Series
    and the 1805/1810 portable.

    I had thought there were some PC compatibles in there (other than the 16/.. but I can't recall.
    Do all the computers you mentioned above came with a mouse?

  5. #15
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    Xerox 16/8:

    https://www.old-computers.com/museum....asp?st=1&c=14

    Which is sort of an enhanced 820-II. But the main unit (crt) encasement looks different.

    I seem to recall a slimline Xerox IBM compatible. Don't ask the details. PC magazine circa 1986 is your friend.

  6. #16
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    There was also the Xerox Dorado https://bushytree.fandom.com/wiki/Xerox_Dorado

  7. #17
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    That was never, to my knowledge, released as a production unit. If we're counting prototypes, the numbers of models would certainly run higher. And Xerox had another facility doing development stuff on Deer Creek Rd, if remember correctly. I recall talking to a recruiter about a system programmed in "B".

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I had thought there were some PC compatibles in there (other than the 16/.. but I can't recall.

    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Would it be fair to critique Xerox's committment to personal computing as somewhat halfhearted? I'm thinking in particular of the 820 and the 'Sunrise' machines, the latter of which in particular seemed to be a case of 'throwing money at a market'. From what I have read so far, the 'copier guys' in the company have tended to be less than supportive, if not outright hostile to Xerox's forays into computing for various reasons such as lower sales commissions, the feeling that it was a distraction from their core business, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tipc View Post
    Xerox 16/8:

    https://www.old-computers.com/museum....asp?st=1&c=14

    Which is sort of an enhanced 820-II. But the main unit (crt) encasement looks different.

    I seem to recall a slimline Xerox IBM compatible. Don't ask the details. PC magazine circa 1986 is your friend.
    Xerox was a company cursed with one major astounding success, the photo copier. It never really learned to sell outside of its copier monopoly into increasingly competitive markets for individual commoditized products. Instead, it relied for too long on a business model in which the sales force tried to sell a "systems solution" encompassing copiers, printers, typewriters, computers and service into large offices.

    Xerox's computer history fell into several categories.

    1. Sigma Data Systems -> Xerox Data Systems. This was an acquisition to get into the mainframe computer business.

    2. Xerox Alto, Star, 6085. This was the result of research at the Palo Alto Research Center into advanced user interfaces and networking.

    3. Various personal computers.

    This is the part I know about.

    The story began with the 850 dedicated word processor. It was composed of a system unit resembling a rolling filing cabinet, a desktop CRT display, a separate keyboard incorporating perhaps the earliest touchpad and a daisywheel letter-quality printer. An Intel 8085 microprocessor provided the computing power with the central operating system in ROM. Overlays were loaded from an 8" floppy disk for additional functionality; documents were stored on a second disk drive.

    Many who used the 850 absolutely loved it. One of the unique features was custom display hardware which rendered the line of text being edited in a double height font on the screen. The later 860 featured a portrait-mode full page display.

    This machine can also boot and run CP/M.

    But the 850 and 860 were big, heavy, expensive and they used a great deal of power.

    The 820 was introduced for a more accessible CP/M platform. Originally based on a licensed version of the Ferguson Bigboard, it was comprised of a system unit incorporating the main logic board and a CRT monitor, a separate keyboard and two 8" floppy disk drives in its own enclosure.

    The following 820-II featured a redesigned logic board with a 4 MHz Z80 instead of the original 2.5 MHz part. The disk controller was moved to a small separate "daughter" card which supported double density, double side as well as 5 1/4" drives. A different controller card was available to interface to a drive unit incorporating an 8 MB hard disk drive and one floppy drive. Somewhere along the way, a more streamlined system unit enclosure was used along with a low profile keyboard.

    The 16/8 was essentially an 820-II with a coprocessor card plugged into the expansion slot of the 820-II logic board, adding an Intel 8086 to allow running CP/M-86 or a generic version of MS-DOS 1.25. The original Z80 served as the I/O processor when the 8086 was active. When running in CP/M mode, both processors can run a CP/M session with the ability to switch between them with a "hotkey" sequence. A new top cover for the system unit with a distinctive black fascia updated the visual look, but the system logic board and CRT was unchanged.

    The final revision of the family extended the expansion slot with an additional cabinet containing its own power supply, a card cage for more expansion cards and a couple of disk drives. There was a card in the works to provide pixel addressable capability for the display, but it never reached market.

    When the dominance of the IBM PC hardware and software architecture became crystal clear, Xerox contracted with Toshiba for PC compatible machines. It was about the footprint of the IBM system unit, but only about 4" high. Three available ISA slots were located horizontally in the left end of the case. These were about to go to market when IBM announced the faster PC/AT. The product launch plan was immediately scrapped. The warehouse of computers went to internal use and the remainder eventually sold at surplus outlets.

    A new agreement was made with Olivetti for rebranded M24 units which were sold for several years as the 6060 series.

    The undercurrent during this entire time was a desire for a cost-reduced 860 word processor. A several years long attempt to create a WYSIWYG word processor running under Microsoft Windows was scrapped after repeated delays; a character-mode word processing suite was licensed from Quadratron and ported from UNIX to MS-DOS. There was a full page display under development including a custom ISA video card; I do not recall whether this ever made it to market.

    The final tale of the saga was a joint development deal with Tandon for a mini-tower 286 and 386 system featuring removable 30 MB hard drives in special shock-protected enclosures called Personal Data Pacs. Xerox left the PC business before this was complete; Tandon sold them for awhile.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    About a year after Xerox bought Diablo systems, I visited the old Diablo building, where I was introduced to an 8080-based system, called the "Merchant", which became the Diablo 3200 Small Business Computer. Marketed after Xerox acquired Diablo, so definitely a Xerox product.

    There are probably more.
    I was about to bring up Diablo. Not sure if those qualify as 'Xerox' products or not but they did carry the name plate after the acquisition. I gave away two 3200s a few years back as I had no interested in restoring them nor space to keep them. They were pretty large 'desk' units with quad 8" drives in the side cabinet. Definitely unique. Diablo was more famous for it's storage systems though.
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  10. #20
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    Having worked with several of the Diablo principals, I'd say that the point of pride was the daisy-wheel printer. The 3200 was never produced until after the acquisition of Diablo by Xerox, so a Xerox product.

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