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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Litton - Monroe OC-8820 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Wednesday 20th July 2011
GregUnit (Charleston, SC)
Active Technologies

In ''83 I used to sell and install Monroe OC-8800 computers. They had the 8810 with 2 floppy drives and the 8820 originally came with a 5 meg full height hard drive. Units were manufactured in Lexington, SC, a Monroe owed assembly plant that operated at 50 degrees with the lights off (robotics). My first sale was to Woody Bilton Ford in St. George, SC. A company in Litchfield SC had a great auto dealer F$I package. The bought the 8810 with a Diablo daisy wheel printer. My next sale was to C$S Bank (now Wachovia (Wells Fargo)). Again, another F$I package with the Diablo printer, Word Star, D-Base, and Supercalc. Monroe also had a Tobacco package that would print the purchase order (oki dot printer) and the check (Diablo) at the same time. Sold like hotcakes. The following year Monroe came out with an 80186 processor machine with “Open Office” by Software Products International”. Open Office did everything MS Office did, but better. Office 2000 was about the same. I sold the fool out of that one too. But IBM came out with the 80286, Monroe bet the farm on 80186, and that was the end of Monroe computers. However. Monroe did a great job of making computers useful for business.

Friday 9th April 2021
Bill Thane (United States)

Actually the OC8820 was a dual drive. The 5MB drive which was either a Mini Scribe or Seagate was detached and had a lead shielded cable that weighed a ton. I want to say the 8810 was a single drive. I worked out of the San Carlos and then San Francisco office for several years for Monroe and sold a number of those systems. The DB software was Condor and the spreadsheet software was Supercalc and of course the word processing was Wordstar.

Thursday 18th March 2021
Alejandro (Argentina)

Hi everyone! I''m repairing a Monroe MCA200, which is similar to the OC8820. I have thought that they are the same machine, but after an analysis of the pictures that I have found here, I see several differences in the mainboard. I have uploaded a BIOS dump here Any questions or comments are welcome, regards!

Thursday 9th January 2020
Ted (Usa)

As a foreign student (Argentina) in 1982 I trained police department administration at Institute of Police traffic Management in Jacksonville, Florida using Monroe 8820 and DBASE. They used it to track stolen property. I was hired in 1983 by Litton/Monroe as salesman, I was the only one selling this system from a team of 7 that sold the old accounting systems. I was the only user of the 20 APPLE IIC in the auniversity and found the Monroe 8820 to be more business oriented with the three applications DBASE, WORDSTAR, VISICALC.

Tuesday 26th November 2019
Alejandro (Argentina)

Hi everyone, good morning! I have found a variant of this machine, a Monroe MCA200 that has been made in Argentina. Anyone did have success to find manuals or any extra information about OC8820? I have found several notes in magazines of their period, but nothing with technical data about their internals or usage.

Tuesday 21st August 2018
Francesco Nidito (Italy)

@Gordon $ I own one OC-8820 but that seems to have problems at start up. Taking a look to the manuals could help. Any change to be able to get a scan of them?

Please write me at francesco $dot$ nidito $at$ gmail $dot$ com

Monday 16th December 2013
Chris C  (Phila, PA )
Performance Years

Wow what a time warp! I sold about 15 of these computers in 1982 and 1983. I remember one of the Sales guys decided to develop a Dungeons and Dragons game in Basic after hours because otherwise this pc only had a few business applications. btw$ SuperCalc was the spreadsheet program available.

Morristown Branch! Where are all you guys now? Mark Ricciardi, Kevin Haney, Steve Shustak, Tom Corzine, Gary, Joe, Martha. Good times!

Wednesday 1st February 2012
Gordon Warnock (United Kingdom)

I have a working OC 8820 with a 5 meg hard drive, along with all the manuals and programmers manuals and original disks.

Wednesday 1st February 2012
Gordon Warnock (United Kingdom)

I have a working OC 8820 with a 5 meg hard drive, along with all the manuals and programmers manuals and original disks.

Friday 6th January 2012
Mike (AA2LS) (USA)

I need a copy of the OS $ CP/M for the OC8820.


Thursday 29th December 2011
Ozy Max (Australia)

Starting about 1980, (In Australia) I developed a large Accounting Package that ran on the OC8820.. In 1980, the OC8820 was a prototype bunch of black boxes in a Rack-Mount. The advanced features of this OS and hardware were instantly obvious.. (Multi-tasking$ Bit manipulation$ Base offset addressing etc.) When the first IBM PCs came out later, I was appalled at how "inferior" they were by comparison.
I had many difficulties with the new OS - and my many questions to the USA research team hit a brick wall of secrecy.. It seemed like every response had to be cleared by the Litton CIA!
I eventually got the Accounting System working and it sold well for many years.. Its best features were enabled by the Multi-Task "Pipeline" (an OS feature where independent Tasks could pass/share data)..
Litton realized the importance of this research and they tried to encrypt the OS itself. Normally, you can''t encrypt machine code.. They did it by adding a hash to the addressing offset and including this offset in all hard addresses. I believe they hoped this trick would ''slow down'' the pirates. It only took me a few days to break this simple encryption.. I needed to enable the "CALC'' key - and that required me to alter the OS, which was when I realized it was encrypted. The sh*t hit the fan when the USA guys saw that my package used the ''Calc'' key. I was blessed with a personal visit and a rebuke from the Asian Area manager. I hope I didn''t damage the potential of that great ''PC''..
Everything seemed to go downhill after

Friday 17th December 2010
Pete (US)

I have one of these and a few disks with MS8 on it. I am desperate for any additional software or documentation. Especially CP/M.

I can''t figure out MS8 at all. I''ve accidentally figured out how to list out the directory but, that''s about it. Anyone know anything at all about MS8 ?

Monday 1st November 2010
Clasho (Argentina)

Hi Johnny! Good to know that there is a machine like that in good form... Please, let me know if you have the MOS (Monroe Operation System) CP/M for this computer. I would like to contact you. Thanks a lot.

Thursday 1st July 2010
Johnny (United States of America)

I actually have one, Litton - Monroe OC-8820. As well as the Monroe printer. It kinda works, powers up, and such. But I get a orangeish screen with some script on it. That''s as far as it goes though. As far as I can tell it''s in very good condition. Email me if you would like some pictures of it or it itself.

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