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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Processor Technology Corp  SOL - 10 / 20 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


Sunday 19th September 2021
Jason (Canada)

Built the Sol 20 kit back in the late ''70s and bought a used one in the ''80s. They are both long gone, but I would love to add one back into my S-100 collection.

Thursday 20th April 2017
Lillian (United States)

In 1976, my husband began visiting the only computer store in the Washington area, in Georgetown after work. It took him a year to prepare me for the fact that he was going to spend a lot of money buying a computer. I thought he was having a mid-life crisis. He bought the Sol III and a printer the next year. I remember that the printer cost more than the computer. When I expressed my doubts about buying a computer, he said, "Someday everyone will have a computer in their home." He used the Sol to do genealogy and he invented a football game using text only that neighbors became addicted to. Neighborhood kids lined up to play it. When I asked if I could learn to use it, I was told that the only available time was from 3 to 4 a.m. He bought a second Sol to use for replacement of parts. One of them is in a computer museum somewhere in California, I think.

Monday 30th March 2015
Richard Freeberg (Napa CA)

I bought a used SOL 20 at at the Sunnyvale Swap Computer swap meet about 1979 or so. I used it to learn 8080 assembler. I still have it in the back room and have somehow protected it from the wife''s semi-annual "purge" of all that "junk". At the same swap meet in 79 I had the chance to purchase the original Intel 4040 prototype board from an old Intel engineer who was cleaning out his garage, for $5, cash. But since I had blown my wallet on the SOL, I didn''t have any money left! LOL Next year, the same engineer had realized what he had, and mounted and ''framed'' the 4040 board. It was NOT for sale...

Sunday 7th April 2013
Ron (Pennsylvania)

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.

Thursday 19th July 2012
Rob Sklut (USA)

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).

Monday 28th May 2012
bruce geiger (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.

Wednesday 16th November 2011
Guillermo Belli (Nicaragua)

My father had one of those. I have faint memories of it, as I was a little boy, but I cannot forget the beautiful wood cabinet and top-notch construction. I do not remember seen it in action. I know I played some games on a computer, but maybe that was on the TSR-80.

Monday 14th November 2011
Cherry Emerson (USA)

We had one of these, the III, we were Emerson House, Inc., in Denver, CO This was a Private Prison/Halfway House. I remember hauling it, and that damn printer all the way to San Diego or San Francisco for a conference for International Halfway House Association where I gave a presentation on how computers could be used to store data, print reports and do accounting. I swear it came with some software called "electric pencil?" Anyone remember that. I think my deceased ex-husband''s widow may still have this one tucked away as he absolutely refused to throw it out!

Thursday 25th November 2010
Michael Gauthier (California/USA)

YES! there were 64k SOL-20''s. I had one. I was using the acounting program that required 64k. I also used the word processing system. I had the HELIOS 8" dual floppy disks and a special NEC Spinwriter for printing. I used it in my business for many years. My brother also had a SOL-20, but his was the 48k version with the HELIOS 8" floppies. He used the wordprocessing system for his business. The only real problem we ever had with them is the memory chips would become loose in the sockets. Every so often we would need to take out the boards and press the chips back into their sockets. I loved the real walnut on the sides of the cases.

Tuesday 18th November 2008
Jack Kennedy (San Antonio)

Yes, I had my SOL maxxed out at 48K, which allowed me to compile the SLAC Pascal compiler. It was the coolest thing I''d done to that point.

Tuesday 16th April 2002
Kay-Sugg (Earth)

Please reduce the RAM maximum you list for the Sol-20 from 64K to 48K.
Yes, the address space supports 64K (8080 MPU) but any attempt to get there
hits a reef - the memory mapped video interface at C000. The system I used
in '78 - '79 had three 16K memory boards, a floppy controller, and a
terminator half-board. It also had a cooling problem that forced me to
leave part of the cover off so that it wouldn't overheat. The system was
sensitive to power spikes - after I built my own line filter from plans in
a user group newsletter my crashes dropped from one or two a day to one a
week. The ~$1500 kit my employer purchased didn't have a 12" monitor - I
used a 9" monitor for a while until I could afford to buy a 12" one to
replace it. Our 8" floppy sub-system was a Megabox (?) from a firm in San
Francisco. (That firm later stretched the chassis and tucked an S-100 buss
into the added space. The resulting system used a Z80 MPU.)
I am something of a kindred spirit - I own a Kim-1 (blue case), Atari 400
& 800, Sinclair ZX-81, and an HP lab computer with a CP/M module. I also
have the usual odds & ends that a computer junkie tends to accumulate.

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