Ohio Scientific, based in Ohio, USA, were the makers of the Superboard II. The Challenger 1P and Challenger IIP-MF were essentially cased versions of this single board system with integrated keyboard, a single 5Volt power supply and the first 6502 version of Microsoft BASIC interpreter.
An optional floppy disk controller and a extra 24K of ram for this unit was available using a 610 expansion board.
The C1P-MF was an upgraded version of the C1P having 20 KB of RAM and one 90 KB floppy disc drive. Memory could be upgraded up to 32 KB.
The Superboard and its derivatives had good user support and many programs were available.
Some additional information from Mark Alsing:
It had basic keyclick sound capability that could be added by popultaing components (resitors and caps) on the main board.An RS-232 interface could also be added this way and there was a cut-out on the back to mount a DB-25 connector for it. Video output was composite and required an RF modulator to display output on a regular TV. I had a MicroVerter box that put the output on ch. 13 or 14.
Ken Jordan, a game developer who got his start on the OSI-C1P, reports :
The text mode was really 32 x 32, but because of TV overscan only 24 x 24 was used. As was common, I soldered Atari joysticks to the numeric keys to allow gaming (there was a standard for this mod).
My school (TSS, QLD) had a stack of these. Some had 1K, others had 4K, and we had one giant 8P machine with 2x 8" floppies.
I acquired them all when they were decommissioned. I''ve still got them.
Sunday 22nd April 2012
I purchased a Superboard in 1979 and over the succeeding 4 years enhanced the machine until it ran two Fujitsu 8 inch drives each having a 1.2 megabyte capacity. The controller was built for me by Nigel Bisset who was a member of the Sydney user group for Ohio Scientific machines. In addition to this change, the Melbourne users produced a memory expansion board and video upgrade which I also used. An aluminium case was bent up and all the hardware went inside and an black text on green background sat on the case. It did not look so very different to the setup that I am now using for Internet communications except that of course it is colour and XVGA.
The end result was a machine that was able to do wordprocessing using the Ohio Scientific programme and I started writing my first book that has still not been published. Later books were more successful.
However, I found the wordprocessor was pretty flakey and I lost a number of important files. This persuaded me to switch to an Osborne 01 Greycase on which I could run Wordstar which was a quantum leap. About this time, Nigel Bisset went to a Macintosh and at this stage our computer paths diverged. He went on to use Apple products whereas I went progressively via CPM to MSDOS and ultimately Windows XP. What a change in 25 yea rs - absolutely incredible.
Saturday 28th May 2005
Peter R Jensen (Sydney Australia)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Full stroke 53 keys
4 KB (static) expandable to 8 KB on board
24 chars. x 24 lines
Only built-in graphic characters
SIZE / WEIGHT
Tape recorder (input/output jacks for 300 baud Kansas City Standard tape storage), Composite video