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P > PROCESSOR TECHNOLOGY CORP  > SOL - 10 / 20     


Processor Technology Corp
SOL - 10 / 20

The Sol Computer was developed by Bob Marsh, Lee Felsenstein and Gordon French. Bob founded his company, Processor Technology, in April 1975 making 4K RAM memory boards for the Altair (cause MITS couldn't make a working memory board)

In June 1975, Bob and Les Solomon (technical editor of Popular Electronics) dreamed up the Sol-20 computer, Bob had a bunch of cheap walnut that he originally intented to use in a digital clock, he didn't want it to go to waste and used it in the Sol-20 (see picture).

About 10,000 of them were produced, some as kits, some as pre-builts. Based on the Intel 8080 microprocessor, this machine occupies a special niche in computer history for technical and esthetic reasons. It was one of the earliest to include a keyboard interface and support circuitry for full implementation of every 8080 function. It was a pioneer towards modern video output boards by having a design that actually put up alphanumeric characters on the screen, using a form of distributed processing that didn't lean on the CPU for all processing.

There were several models of the SOL-20 system :

- The SOL System I ($1649 in kit or $2129 assembled), with SOL Operating System, 8 KB RAM, a 12" TV/Monitor, and a cassette recorder with BASIC software tape.

- The SOL System II ($1883 in kit or $2283 assembled), is a SOL System I with 16 KB.

- The SOL System III ($4750 in kit or $5450 assembled), is a system II with 32 KB RAM, a video monitor, the HELIOS II Disk Memory System and a DISK BASIC floppy.



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I still have a working Sol 20. I used it for my business along a 70K Micropolis hard drive. It''s been sitting in my basement for years.

          
Sunday 7th April 2013
Ron (Pennsylvania)

Electric Pencil was really the first ''successful ...'' word processor application (I remember it well $ it was used on many 8080-based systems of the era).

          
Thursday 19th July 2012
Rob Sklut (USA)

I puchased one of these computers along with a tractor printer and the package was around $5k
My need was to maintain an inventory list and be able to $ an item between two other items.
Simple today but a pain the rear then.
I wrote programs for labels on Basic and dreamed of a restaurant system that would allow waiters to $ orders for the cooks from the dining room
I bought a system, touch screen, and it sold for pluis 20k
The venture failed and nobody got paid.
I spent about 1000 hours learning basic and the clunky memory disks.
I should have gone fishing, but it was fun.

I am 82 years old.

          
Monday 28th May 2012
bruce geiger (usa)

 

NAME  SOL - 10 / 20
MANUFACTURER  Processor Technology Corp
TYPE  Professional Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  End of 1976
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Unknown
KEYBOARD  QWERTY full-stroke keyboard
CPU  Intel 8080A
RAM  8k, 16k or 32k (up to 48 KB)
VRAM  1 KB
ROM  1 KB
TEXT MODES  64 x 16
GRAPHIC MODES  None
COLOrsc  Unknown
SOUND  Unknown
I/O PORTS  RS 232, cassette, S100 Bus
OS  CONSOL OS
POWER SUPPLY  Unknown
PRICE  Unknown





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