Sol-20 Integrated Computer Teardown | Hackaday

Sol-20 Integrated Computer Teardown | Hackaday

[Action Retro] came into an antique Sol-20 personal computer and argues that it was the first thoroughly integrated laptop or computer aimed at shoppers that didn’t have to have you to invest in or build some sort of terminal. These are relatively unusual, so we appreciated the peek within that you can see in the online video under.

Guaranteed, the Sol-20 wasn’t the incredibly first personal computer out there in the sector. It was, on the other hand, one of the initial types that did not will need anything additional unique than a observe to have a purposeful technique (and the keep track of was integrated). There were solutions such as a Xerox Alto or a Wang 2200, but these experienced cost tags that did not land them in your dwelling. Even Apple, which would develop into famed for a turnkey method, was only producing the Apple I at that time. As the movie points out, it was total as very long as you could establish your very own electrical power provide and understood how to interface a keyboard — trying to keep in intellect that keyboards had been all wildly distinctive in individuals times.

Though the Sol-20 was the initial to the market, everybody “knew” this sort of kind element was required. The crucial was to get the price down. Even the Sol-20 marketed for $2,100 with a monochrome observe, Simple, 8K of memory, and cassette tape mass storage. Try to remember, although, that $2,100 in 1976 is value about $6,260 currently. You could invest in a motherboard package ($575) or the base machine assembled ($745). Adding the scenario, keyboard, and ability provide would increase $300 to $500 to that price tag. Of program, until you ponied up the complete $2,100, you experienced to resource your individual bits like cassette decks, memory boards, and the like.

The computer system did not boot up quickly, but biking the energy a couple of instances designed it do a minor superior. The S-100 bus connectors choose up really a little bit of genuine estate inside, and a large linear ability supply was rather common for pcs of the time period. The keyboard was beyond assist and demanded some significant renovation and cleansing. It was not thoroughly fastened by the stop of the video, but you can see he’s having there.

The company had built inroads into the fledgling laptop suppliers of the working day and experienced promised improvements, together with a floppy generate and a shade video card. Vendor challenges delayed the floppy disk launch and then came similar and cheaper computer systems from Radio Shack, Apple, and Commodore. Processor Know-how — the business that designed the SOL — had legal problems, far too. The corporation they compensated to generate the SOL’s Standard was promoting the software program to others, but the courts sided with the other firm. The company also refused to shift to CP/M, working with a proprietary operating program that was reportedly buggy, ensuing in a lawsuit against the enterprise. The last straw was 32K and 64K dynamic memory boards that had been offered and then unsuccessful commonly. The enterprise went bankrupt in 1979, ending the three-12 months operate of the SOL.

We suspect this machine will be entirely purpose quickly plenty of. If you want a single of these but cannot manage or uncover 1, you can do a reproduction. Or, emulate a pc from the exact yr — the Apple I.