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X > XEROX  > 860


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Xerox  860 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


Thursday 22nd November 2007
Michael (Manhattan, NY)

I was an employee of Xerox Northeast Regional Headquaters in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1980. Just out of High School and working in the copy center operating a Xerox 9400. This is where I taught myself Word Processing in my spare time on the 860. I also worked the 850 and the 800. I still have my original Systems Disk and Data disk for the 860 in my cabinet. What was special was that it was a "dedicated" word processor and it had a FULL page display.

Tuesday 8th June 2021
OldNavy8206 (US)

I was the Xerox 860 tech in USS Horne (CG-30) from 84-87. We had three and when one went down you should have heard the wails of anguish! The were essential for our Admin, Operations, and Weapons departments reports.

Tuesday 21st December 2004
lamballais (France, Paris)

In charge of technological progress in a real estate firm(SME) - west part of France, in the early 80s, I suggest to buy a XEROX 860.

That was a great machine. Three ladies shared it.
Thanks to the "mouse", they could go anywhere in the page they saw on the screen. With this XEROX 860, we produced shareholders' meetings reports and for instance, accounting tables, contracting expenditures tables as leaving apartments thanks to specifically designed programs. JUST GREAT!

Before buying this XEROX 860, we rent a XEROX 800-2 which used 2 magnetic cards (as large as a third of an A4). On this XEROX 800-2, a small stick (cf. a joystick) enabled to choose the line you wanted to see on the display.
Existed also a XEROX 800-1 - using only one magnetic card -. This Xerox 800-1 was not so fast as XEROX 800-2

Tuesday 10th January 2023
Timbo614 (United Kingdom)

I seem to have found one of these (an 860) in a barn :( It is in terrible condition I''m not even sure it is all there the printer is and I think the keyboard but didn''t see a monitor which would seem to be important! The main unit has been dismantled but there are i/o cpu? cards etc. The question is - Is it worth rescuing?

Saturday 24th September 2022
Steve Jones (US)

There were apparently a lot more mass storage options, with both floppy and hard drives. Check out some period brochures:

Saturday 6th August 2022
Michael Rutkaus (United States)

I wrote the user manual for the 860 at XICTMD in Leesburg Virginia. I was fascinated by it, having been a technical writer for years by then, the abiiity to format, correct mistakes etc. Naturally I used the 860 itself to write the manual! It was a blast because I really was fascinated by it. Actually I''m not positive about the model number 860, I know it was the first word processor Xerox sold. Later I went out to Palo Alto to learn the Alto and net, then ran the Alto/Ethernet system in Leesburg for a few years. At first on the East Coast there were just three systems, Leesburg XICTMD, the White House, and Harvard.

Tuesday 19th July 2022
Calaverasgrande (NYC)

I found one of these in a storage room of a dodgy live work in Oakland back in the 90s. It had a box of disks and cables with the big keyboard + touchpad poking out. So I plugged it all in and got it to boot by trial and error disk swapping. Wasnt much I could do with it. This was before the internet was widely available. The local library had nothing on it. None of the applications seemed to work with the pointing device, or it was broken. So I used it to hold the door open on hot days. I did get into a database and found a bunch of shipping and receiving stuff from when the live work was an office for the foundry across the street.

Wednesday 9th February 2022
Kent Van Gent (United States)

I got on board the USS New Orleans (LPH-11) IN 1982. I used the Zerox 860 to write memos and reports. The only thing I didn''t like about it was it was easy to accidentally loose some of my typing on the far side of the screen. It was very hard to find but it would print out in the memo even though I couldn''t see it on the CRT. It used to drive me crazy.

Friday 26th March 2021
Steven (USA)

I worked for a company producing EIS for large construction projects from 1980 to 1983. I printed copies on a Xerox 9400 $ but the originals were produced on Xerox 860s (there was a pool of three machines) connected to large daisywheel printers in sound enclosures. At one point they investigated switching to a Xerox 9700 (high speed laser printer .. 120 letter pages/minute) for output.

Monday 2nd December 2019

LoL, here in Brasil, "Bravox" is the name of a company that produces loudspeakers. It was founded by immigrants from Germany in 1953.

Saturday 4th January 2014
Danielle Nichole (Dallas Texas)

Hi all, I remember my mother, Chasity, worked for Xerox in my early years but I don''t recall exactly what she did. I was born in 81 and I believe we were living in either texas or florida at the time but if any of you remember that name, (Chas) please $ me a line.

Friday 29th March 2013

I used one in the Navy, too. Early 1980''s. The rumor in the ship''s office was that it coudl be used to play Pong. A jealously guarded secret!

Thursday 23rd February 2012
Dave (US)

Do not be confused by people, or sites, that claim this was a a word processing only system. It was a cp/m box. I personally have had cp/m system disks for this along with a few other things including BASIC, WordStar, and FORTRAN. They even used these in the engineering department of University of California Berkeley for programming. No I''m not confused with the 820. The disks said 860IPS on them and strangely enough booted a 860 IPS into cp/m.

Tuesday 7th November 2006
Jake (Earth)

Really, a plea for help: I'm trying to transmit a long publication (360 pp) from a Xerox 860 to an Intel based custom computer via a null modem onnection (25 pin to 15 pin) and, of course, COMM software, but haven't gotten it to work. On the
receiving end I'm trying it in MEX and Windows 2000 HyperTerminal as file-to-file and in terminal mode. I did once get this to work, but that was
many Intel machines ago. If anyone might have an idea that might apply, l'd like to hear all theories before I resort to OCR scanning.

Monday 1st December 2003
Howard Pepper (USA)

We used two of these in my first U.S. Navy fighter squadron, VF-84. We had one in the Quality Assurance (QA) department, and one in the Personnel department. I tried to get a school for maintenance of this beast, but failed the pre-test (I couldn't remember my synchro-servo theory). We eventually replaced them with IBM-style PC's.

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