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Altair floppy controller design/development/release history

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  • Jack Rubin
    I ve got a couple friends working to establish the existence of the first S100 floppy controller and/or the first S100 floppy controller to support CP/M, which
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 7, 2008
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      I've got a couple friends working to establish the existence of the
      first S100 floppy controller and/or the first S100 floppy controller to
      support CP/M, which is a very different thing. It seems pretty clear
      that the Altair controller set was the first Altair bus controller but
      that John Torode's FDC-1 (a standalone controller connected to the S100
      bus through a dedicated "buffer" card was the first to run CP/M. Torode
      was a colleague of Kildall as a student and later a collaborator.

      My question is as to the actual production/sale date of the Altair
      controller and associated Altair BASIC DOS. The only dated schematic in
      my DCDD manual is of the controller card that sits in the external
      drives. The drawings for the Altair bus controllers are unsigned and
      undated. The drive controller was drawn in 6/75 by A.C. Rouckus, a
      drafts(wo)man who started at MITS the previous month. I spoke with her
      last night and she doesn't have a clear recollection of much more than
      working on the drawings. She suggested following up with Tom Durston,
      Bill Yates or Pat Godding. She also mentioned Rick Ranger as a
      colleague. Does anyone have contact info for any of these people?

      Thanks,
      Jack

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    • Derek J. Lassen
      If it helps, I remember CP/M v1.3, with the multi color covers on the manuals. I had to cobble together a BIOS. BTW, my BIOS had to support a Teletype Model 40
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 7, 2008
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        If it helps, I remember CP/M v1.3, with the multi color covers on the
        manuals. I had to cobble together a BIOS. BTW, my BIOS had to support
        a Teletype Model 40 Line printer - so my BIOS had a spooler in it.
        (s) Derek



        At 11:24 AM 3/7/2008 -0600, you wrote:
        >I've got a couple friends working to establish the existence of the
        >first S100 floppy controller and/or the first S100 floppy controller to
        >support CP/M, which is a very different thing. It seems pretty clear
        >that the Altair controller set was the first Altair bus controller but
        >that John Torode's FDC-1 (a standalone controller connected to the S100
        >bus through a dedicated "buffer" card was the first to run CP/M. Torode
        >was a colleague of Kildall as a student and later a collaborator.
        >
        >My question is as to the actual production/sale date of the Altair
        >controller and associated Altair BASIC DOS. The only dated schematic in
        >my DCDD manual is of the controller card that sits in the external
        >drives. The drawings for the Altair bus controllers are unsigned and
        >undated. The drive controller was drawn in 6/75 by A.C. Rouckus, a
        >drafts(wo)man who started at MITS the previous month. I spoke with her
        >last night and she doesn't have a clear recollection of much more than
        >working on the drawings. She suggested following up with Tom Durston,
        >Bill Yates or Pat Godding. She also mentioned Rick Ranger as a
        >colleague. Does anyone have contact info for any of these people?
        >
        >Thanks,
        >Jack
        >
        >No virus found in this outgoing message.
        >Checked by AVG Free Edition.
        >Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.21.6/1316 - Release Date:
        >3/6/2008 6:58 PM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • billdeg@aol.com
        My question is as to the actual production/sale date of the Altair controller and associated Altair BASIC DOS. The only dated schematic in my DCDD manual is of
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 7, 2008
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          My question is as to the actual production/sale date of the Altair
          controller and associated Altair BASIC DOS. The only dated schematic in
          my DCDD manual is of the controller card that sits in the external
          drives.

          <snip>

          Jack,
          What is is the version and date associated with the first version of Altair BASIC with disk drive extensions?  That date would have to correlate with the card, maybe?
          Bill

        • Steve
          My old price lists, like everything else, are buried, but the best place to find announcement dates for all Altair products would probably be the Computer
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 8, 2008
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            My old price lists, like everything else, are buried, but the best
            place to find announcement dates for all Altair products would
            probably be the Computer Notes magazines. If you don't have them, be
            advised that every issue is online at the Startup museum's web site
            at
            http://www.startupgallery.org/gallery/computernotes.php
            If you want to print them out, they even have super hi-res jpeg
            images of each page (2 or 3 MB per page).

            Since Altair's controller boards were probably the first designed for
            S100, and since they could eventually run hard-sector CP/M, does that
            qualify them, in a way, as being the first controllers that could run
            CP/M?

            iCOM's Frugal Floppy was another early 8" disc product that could
            run soft sector CP/M.

            I don't have contact info for the 1st 3 MITS engineers you mentioned,
            but I should be able to get Rick Ranger's email address. I'll send
            it to you off-group.

            Steve

            =======================================
            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "Jack Rubin"
            <jack.rubin@...> wrote:
            >
            > I've got a couple friends working to establish the existence of the
            > first S100 floppy controller and/or the first S100 floppy
            controller to
            > support CP/M, which is a very different thing. It seems pretty clear
            > that the Altair controller set was the first Altair bus controller
            but
            > that John Torode's FDC-1 (a standalone controller connected to the
            S100
            > bus through a dedicated "buffer" card was the first to run CP/M.
            Torode
            > was a colleague of Kildall as a student and later a collaborator.
            >
            > My question is as to the actual production/sale date of the Altair
            > controller and associated Altair BASIC DOS. The only dated
            schematic in
            > my DCDD manual is of the controller card that sits in the external
            > drives. The drawings for the Altair bus controllers are unsigned and
            > undated. The drive controller was drawn in 6/75 by A.C. Rouckus, a
            > drafts(wo)man who started at MITS the previous month. I spoke with
            her
            > last night and she doesn't have a clear recollection of much more
            than
            > working on the drawings. She suggested following up with Tom
            Durston,
            > Bill Yates or Pat Godding. She also mentioned Rick Ranger as a
            > colleague. Does anyone have contact info for any of these people?
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Jack
            >
            > No virus found in this outgoing message.
            > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
            > Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.21.6/1316 - Release Date:
            > 3/6/2008 6:58 PM
            >
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