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Digital Equipment Corporation

The DECMATE II shared the same case, power supply unit and RX50 dual floppy drive as the Rainbow 100 and was sold as a desktop or tower stand system. Like DECMATE I and III, it was a member of the PDP-8 family based on the Harris 12-bit 6120, a single chip PDP-8 compatible microprocessor.

It had 32 Kwords of RAM for use by programs, and a further 32 Kwords containing code which was used for device emulation.

The same year, DEC launched the Rainbow 100, a Z80/8088 based system to compete with CP/M and MS-DOS machines, as well as the 300 Professional systems.

The DECMATE II was the Decmate series most versatile system. Customer could choose between either one or two dual 5.25" floppy disc drives, or a 5, 10 or 20 MB hard disc, or even 8" floppy drives. Several option boards were also available. Among them, a Z80 card for CP/M compatibility and a graphic board allowing a color monitor to be used.

Digital corporation provided a large range of professional software. However, the Decmate II was mainly used for professional word processing, connected to a serial letter quality printer.

Special thanks to David Cheeseman

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The DECmate computer systems all required a bootable 5.25 inch floppy diskette which contained the OS as well as the WPS software. They could also run the COS310 Operating System which after some modification by Digital Research Corp. became CP/M. With the addition of the Z80 board, they were able to run MS-DOS. As the only authorozed dealer in Southern California, I and my staff had great sales experiences with it. Incredibly, we still have some in inventory, as well as brand new DECmate IIIs.

Wednesday 25th April 2012
Iwin Zane (USA)

Not all Decmates required booting and loading software from a floppy disc. We got one about 1980 which did. New $4,500 USD. Another a year later with a CP/M board and Winchester hard drive, which contained the CP/M OS and the original PDP-8 emulation. $400 USD used. Chosen over the Rainbow and the Apple II for the dedicated WP incorporated in the PDP 8 version, dedicated WP keyboard, and the 132 column ''screen shift'' beyond the std 80 column screen view. All USA made.Ran a construction co with the WP and Visicalc running on CP/M. We first saw the IBM Winchester drives working at NCR, another once-leading company that vanished. Ken Rosen at DEC stated that there was no future for the computer in the home about that time.

Wednesday 23rd December 2020
Steven Monrad (US)

@Steve: In order to run CP/M on this machine, you needed to get the Z80 expansion card with 64k RAM. This allowed this machine to use CP/M AND run most PDP 8 software.

Thursday 1st June 2017
Chuck (United States)


MANUFACTURER  Digital Equipment Corporation
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1982
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke 106 keys with 20 function keys, editing and numeric keypads
CPU  12 bit Harris 6120
SPEED  4 or 8 MHz
RAM  32 K x 12bits
TEXT MODES  80 chars x 24 lines / 132 chars x 24 lines
COLORS  monochrome
SOUND  beeper
I/O PORTS  Monitor, Serial, Printer
BUILT IN MEDIA  1 or 2 x RX50 dual 5.25'' floppy disc drives
Optional 5, 10 or 20 MB hard disk
OS  COS 310
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in switching power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  Z80 card, Graphic colour card, 8088 card, MFM H.D. controller card
PRICE  $1435

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