Wave Mate Bullet

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The Wave Mate Bullet was a Z80 single-board computer from the late 1970s and early 1980s which used the CP/M operating system. This computer is rarely seen now but has historical value as an early microcomputer pioneer. It was sold in Australia, the United States and Europe and was apparently popular in academic settings.

Zilog Z80 8-bit microprocessor

The Z80 CPU is an 8-bit based microprocessor. It was introduced by Zilog in 1976 as the startup company's first product. The Z80 was conceived by Federico Faggin in late 1974 and developed by him and his then-11 employees at Zilog from early 1975 until March 1976, when the first fully working samples were delivered. With the revenue from the Z80, the company built its own chip factories and grew to over a thousand employees over the following two years.

Single-board computer complete computer built on a single circuit board

A single-board computer (SBC) is a complete computer built on a single circuit board, with microprocessor(s), memory, input/output (I/O) and other features required of a functional computer. Single-board computers were made as demonstration or development systems, for educational systems, or for use as embedded computer controllers. Many types of home computers or portable computers integrate all their functions onto a single printed circuit board.

CP/M Discontinued family of computer operating systems

CP/M, originally standing for Control Program/Monitor and later Control Program for Microcomputers, is a mass-market operating system created in 1974 for Intel 8080/85-based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. Initially confined to single-tasking on 8-bit processors and no more than 64 kilobytes of memory, later versions of CP/M added multi-user variations and were migrated to 16-bit processors.

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Wave Mate Bullet board WaveMate Bullet.JPG
Wave Mate Bullet board

Notability

The Wave Mate Bullet is notable because it represents CP/M machines at their apex. Small yet affordable machines which were quite powerful at the time with plentiful applications. Wave Mate, Inc. is a historically relevant company because one of the original microcomputer companies which released their first computer kit the Wave Mate Jupiter II in 1975. The Wave Mate Bullet represents the end of the CP/M era as the IBM PC and its clones ascended to marketplace domination. [1]

Configurations

The Wave Mate Bullet runs CP/M 3.0 and CP/M 2.2 is available. It is available in many configurations but typically is found in a small chassis with two 96 tracks per inch 5.25" floppy disk drives. The 5.25" disks were formatted on both sides with five 1024 byte sectors per track with 80 tracks per side for a total of 800K per disk.

Floppy disk disk storage medium

A floppy disk, also known as a floppy, diskette, or simply disk, is a type of disk storage composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic enclosure lined with fabric that removes dust particles. Floppy disks are read and written by a floppy disk drive (FDD).

The standard configurations includes two serial ports, a parallel port, a general purpose external DMA bus (GPED), separate connectors for 5.25" and 8" floppy disk drives, and a hard disk interface. The hard disk interface is either IMI hard disk controller model #7710 or SCSI depending on the motherboard version.

Serial port communication interface socket/plug

In computing, a serial port is a serial communication interface through which information transfers in or out one bit at a time. Throughout most of the history of personal computers, data was transferred through serial ports to devices such as modems, terminals, and various peripherals.

Parallel port an interface for connecting peripherals to computers

A parallel port is a type of interface found on computers for connecting peripherals. The name refers to the way the data is sent; parallel ports send multiple bits of data at once, in parallel communication, as opposed to serial interfaces that send bits one at a time. To do this, parallel ports require multiple data lines in their cables and port connectors, and tend to be larger than contemporary serial ports which only require one data line.

Direct memory access (DMA) is a feature of computer systems that allows certain hardware subsystems to access main system memory, independent of the central processing unit (CPU).

Collectable

The Wave Mate Bullet is a vintage computer which predates the IBM PC and is of interest to vintage computer enthusiasts. It was mentioned by Don Maslin (deceased), key member of Dina-SIG and a widely known and respected figure in the vintage computer community, on the CCTALK mailing list as belonging in the top 150 all time collectible microcomputers.

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