TUAW Newsletter - April 1, 1976
In this Bicentennial year, technology is making big advances! You can read about it here in Technology Update Aptos Weekly, the official computer newsletter of the Aptos, CA Amateur Computer Club, delivered to your door every week. Remember to pay Steve Sande your dues, as part of that money goes towards the ridiculous rip-off that the Post Office has concocted -- 13¢ for a first-class stamp.
New micro-processor from MOS Technology
MOS Technology announced the new 6502 micro-processor, which should revolutionize the homebrew computing world. For $25, much less than Intel's $179 8080 chip, you get a 8-bit processor with a 16-bit data bus. Steve Wozniak from the HOmebrew Computer Club is basing his "Apple I" computer that he'll show at our next meeting on the 6502. Most people think he's crazy not to use the Intel 8080, but he wants to make a computer thats inexpensive (a friend of his named Steve Jobs wants to sell these computers - now there's a crazy idea!) You can ask Steve about it at the meeting at Tom's house on the 16th - I think he's going to make copies of the specs on one of the Xerox machines at HP.
At the last HCC meeting, Christopher Espinoza showed off a cool subroutine he wrote for the 6502 that prints the A-register in binary! He'll have that in the HCC newsletter sooN and we'll try to see if he'll let us reprint it for those who want to try out this cheap inexpensive mcicro processor.
In my opinion, and I am the editor of this newsletter until someone takes my IBM Selectric away, I think he should be using the Zilog Z-80 that's in the Cromemco Z-1. After all, it's a much faster chip than the 8080. I hear that Gary Kildall will have a version of his Operating System CP/M for the Z-80 and not for the 6502.
Cool new multi-function calculator from Casio!
The Japanese company Casio has just announced a breakthrough product called the CQ 1. Believe it or not, they've figured out a way to put a 4-function calculator (with memory), a digital clock, a stopwatch, AND alarm clock into one box. It's 14,000 yen, whatever that works out to in dollars.
A review of Processor Technologies SOL-20 Terminal
Lee Felsenstein, the moderator over at the Homebrew CC in the Bay Area, has designed an amazing machine called the SOL-20. He named it after Les Solomon, who is an editor at Popular Electronics (my favorite magazine, next to Playboy). You can hook a B&W TV to it, and it actually has a built-in typewriter keyboard!
I seriously doubt if computers are going to get more powerful than this! 10K of RAM, an Intel 8080A, serial and cassette ports, and 5 slots for expansion. Mike Schrayer says he's working on a "word processor" program called Electric Pencil that will run on the SOL-20. One problem with the SOL-20? You're going to have to be a millionaire to own one. It's $1649 in kit form, and if you really have the bread stashed under your waterbed, you can buy a fully-assembled SOL for $2129. That's for the rich members with money to burn and lousy soldering skills (yeah, we're talking about you, Roger!).
For Sale: KIM-1 Kit (assmebled)
For sale - Processor Technologies KIM-1. This is a complete, computer including a hex kepad and six 7-segment character display units. All you need is a 5V and a 12V power supply to get the computer operational. It is built around the 6502 processor, has 1k of RAM, a TTY interface, an audio tape interface (cassette recorder not included) and an expansion connector.It runs at about 1.8 Mhz. The kit sells for $245, I'll sell this for $200 altho I have a lot of hours invested in putting this together. Call ROn Slotnick, 408-555-1212.
News from other clubs!
We recently heard from a group in Winsconsin called the Wsconsin Area Computer Society. They've had monthly meetings for the last 5 months and have a paid membership of over 40 people already. They're putting together a software library and can communicate via Casette Tape (Tarbell, Digital Group, and K.C. Standard) and Paper Tape. Let me know if you want Don's address and you can send him tapes.
The Indianapolis Small Systems Group (ISSG) is publishing a newsletter called The Indy Byte Chaser. Send a SASE to Keith Pieper, 54 Terrence Lane, Brownsburg, IN 46112 for the newsletter. They've got some great Tiny BASIC programs typed up in the newsletter.
The Sonoma County Computer Club meets the first Tuesday of the month at the LO*OP Center at 8099 La Plaza, Cotati, CA 94928. Meetings start at 7:30 PM. If we drive to Cupertino, Steve Wozniak says we can carpool in his van and go to the meeting with him.
Video Tape Recorder from Japan
Victor Corporation of Japan has announced a new Video Tape Recorder using their new Video Home System (VHS) formatted cassettes. Only time will tell if these recorders will make it into our homes, since Sony announced their Beta recroder last year to lackluster sales. While this doesn't have much to do with computers, we thought it might be interesting to people who for some reason might want to record TV shows. They haven't announced when the HR-3300 will be available in the US, nor is a price available at press time.
(Many thanks to the Digibarn Computer Museum for their digitized archives of the Homebrew Computer Club newsletters, which can be viewed here. They supplied a lot of the fuel for this post.)