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S > SORD  > M 68 / M 68 MX

M 68 / M 68 MX

Information from Peter Hyde from New Zealand:
The Motorola 68000-based series took a long time to take off -- it just took too long to get the software for it rolled out. But M68MX sorted that out -- it had even better versions of compiler Basic, great word processor and above all the ultimate version of Sord's PIPS (Pan Information Processing System) integrated software, this one known as 4G-PIPS.
I led a team of 8-10 international engineers to make that version, and then port it to MSDOS, where it ran on any AT-compatible PC (it still runs in a DOS window on my machine).
But by that stage (1987-8), the writing was on the wall...

Sord was a remarkable company, able to make superb software to go its usually-expensive but well-engineered hardware (though the M23 was very affordable in the Sord line). However, it was always hard going getting wide software development support for it in different markets, and the company suffered greatly from the growth of the PC clone industry, both in Japan and internationally.

Rui M. Dos Santos  from Angola reports us:
Two of this machines were intensively used in Angola in stock management.
One company called ABAMAT, the state purchasing company of the, then, planified socialist country, received a gift from Japan two of this machines.
Problem was that the machines came with no supporting software.
One stock manager then, who happen to had a trainning course in Cobol to permit him to operate IBM 360 and 370 machines, curious about the machine and the technology, asked permission to the Director of Abamat to explore the machines after hours.
At the time, I was as well trying to find low cost machines that would permit to "computarize" my company.
At the time, I used New Brains and CASIO machines... Casio happens to be very well supported in development software...
We joined forces and we made a curious thing...
1 - We used the software I had bought from CASIO ( the CP/M and the COBOL compiler ) to develop the applications.
2 - Then we used the NEW BRAIN FDD capacity to format ANY format to import and export data between machines...
3 - We used as well the CASIO to compile and do all the tests...
4 - After all tests done, we used again the NEW BRAIN facilities to put the software in the SORD and other machines.
5 - Later in 1984, with the support of one Angolan engenier trainned by Angola Universtiy we were able to make two communications programs called "send" and "receive" to make the computer to communicate between them.
Unfortunely all this work was not well seen positively by the IBMers and main frame followers who looked to us as a threat.
Should we had the necessary support or be in a diferent country our applications were certainly play a rule in the market.
6 - As the Casio was Z80 powered, and CP/M ran, we never were able to test the real power of the SORD Motorola 68000 processor... I am shure that we could have taken a lot more out of this machine if we had the compilers for the Motorola processors.

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