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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The Aster CT-80, an early (1982) home/personal computer developed by the small Dutch company MCP, was sold in its first incarnation as a kit for hobbyists. Later it was sold ready to use. It consisted of several Eurocard PCB's with DIN 41612 connectors, and a backplane all based on a 19-inch rack configuration. It was the first commercially available Dutch personal/home computer. The Aster computer could use the software written for the popular Tandy TRS-80 computer while fixing many of the problems of that computer, but it could also run CP/M software, with a big amount of free memory Transient Program Area, (TPA) and a full 80×25 display, and it could be used as a Videotext terminal. Although the Aster was a clone of the TRS-80 Model I it was in fact more compatible with the TRS-80 Model III, and ran all the software of these systems including games. It also had a built in speaker which was compatible with such games software.
A disk operating system is a computer operating system that can use a disk storage device, such as a floppy disk, hard disk drive, or optical disc. A disk operating system must provide a file system for organizing, reading, and writing files on the storage disk. Strictly speaking, this definition does not apply to current generations of operating systems, such as versions of Microsoft Windows in use, and is more appropriately used only for older generations of operating systems.
The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981. It was created by a team of engineers and designers under the direction of Don Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida.
The Tandy 1000 was the first in a line of IBM PC compatible home computer systems produced by the Tandy Corporation for sale in its Radio Shack and Radio Shack Computer Center chains of stores.
The Big Board (1980) and Big Board II (1982) were Z80 based single-board computers designed by Jim Ferguson. They provided a complete CP/M compatible computer system on a single printed circuit board, including CPU, memory, disk drive interface, keyboard and video monitor interface. The printed circuit board was sized so as to allow attachment to an 8 inch floppy disk drive. The Big Board II added a hard disk drive interface, enhancements to system speed and enhancements to the terminal interface.
The Xerox 820 is an 8-bit desktop computer sold by Xerox in the early 1980s. The computer runs under the CP/M operating system and uses floppy disk drives for mass storage. The microprocessor board is a licensed variant of the Big Board computer.
Kaypro Corporation was an American home and personal computer manufacturer of the 1980s. The company was founded by Non-Linear Systems to compete with the popular Osborne 1 portable microcomputer. Kaypro produced a line of rugged, "luggable" CP/M-based computers sold with an extensive software bundle which supplanted its competitors and quickly became one of the top-selling personal computer lines of the early 1980s.
The IBM Personal Computer AT, more commonly known as the IBM AT and also sometimes called the PC AT or PC/AT, was IBM's second-generation PC, designed around the 6 MHz Intel 80286 microprocessor and released in 1984 as System Unit 5170. The name AT stood for "Advanced Technology," and was chosen because the AT offered various technologies that were then new in personal computers; one such advancement was that the 80286 processor supported protected mode. IBM later released an 8 MHz version of the AT.
The Rainbow 100 was a microcomputer introduced by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1982. This desktop unit had a monitor similar to the VT220 in a dual-CPU box with both 4 MHz Zilog Z80 and 4.81 MHz Intel 8088 CPUs. The Rainbow 100 was a triple-use machine: VT100 mode, 8-bit CP/M mode, and 16-bit CP/M-86 or MS-DOS mode using the 8088.
Eagle Computer of Los Gatos, California, was an early microcomputer manufacturing company. Spun off from Audio-Visual Laboratories (AVL), it first sold a line of popular CP/M computers which were highly praised in the computer magazines of the day. After the IBM PC was launched, Eagle produced the Eagle 1600 series, which ran MS-DOS but were not true clones. When it became evident that the buying public wanted actual clones of the IBM PC, even if a non-clone had better features, Eagle responded with a line of clones, including a portable. The Eagle PCs were always rated highly in computer magazines.
Ohio Scientific Inc. was an Ohio-based computer company that built and marketed microcomputers from 1975 to 1981. Their best-known products were the Challenger series of microcomputers, but they also sold a variety of computer kits, single-board computers and various peripherals.
Corvus Systems was a technology company founded by Michael D'Addio and Mark Hahn in 1979 and located in San Jose, Silicon Valley, in the United States. Corvus was a pioneer of the early days of personal computers, producing the first hard disk drives, data backup, and networking devices, commonly for the Apple II series.
George Morrow was part of the early microcomputer industry in the United States. Morrow promoted and improved the S-100 bus used in many early microcomputers. Called "one of the microcomputer industry's iconoclasts" by Richard Dalton in the Whole Earth Software Catalog, Morrow was also a member of the Homebrew Computer Club.
Vector Graphic was an early microcomputer company founded in 1976, the same year as Apple Computer, during the pre-IBM PC era, along with the NorthStar Horizon, IMSAI, and MITS Altair.
A floppy disk is a disk storage medium composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium encased in a rectangular plastic carrier. It is read and written using a floppy disk drive (FDD). Floppy disks were an almost universal data format from the late 1970s into the 1990s, used at first as a primary data storage mechanism, and later mostly as a file transfer system as part of what became known as "sneakernet".
The Macintosh External Disk Drive is the original of a series of external 3 1⁄2-inch floppy disk drives manufactured and sold by Apple Computer exclusively for the Macintosh series of computers introduced in January 1984. Later, Apple would unify their external drives to work cross-platform between the Macintosh and Apple II product lines, dropping the name "Macintosh" from the drives. Though Apple had been producing external floppy disk drives prior to 1984, they were exclusively developed for the Apple II, III and Lisa computers using the industry standard 5 1⁄4" flexible disk format. The Macintosh external drives were the first to widely introduce Sony's new 3 1⁄2" rigid disk standard commercially and throughout their product line. Apple produced only one external 3 1⁄2" drive exclusively for use with the Apple II series called the Apple UniDisk 3.5.
PolyMorphic Systems was a manufacturer of microcomputer boards and systems based on the S-100 bus. Their products included the Poly-88 and the System 8813. The company was incorporated in California in 1976 as Interactive Products Corporation d/b/a PolyMorphic Systems. It was initially based in Goleta, then Santa Barbara, California.
The Olivetti M20 is a Zilog Z8000 based computer from Olivetti introduced in 1982. Although it offered good performance, it suffered from a lack of software due to its use of the Z8000 processor and custom operating system, PCOS. The company introduced an IBM PC compatible in January 1984 and the M20 line was phased out.
|This computer hardware article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|