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NCR Computers of the 20th Century => Personal Computers => Topic started by: Aleksandrs Guba on July 11, 2008, 05:28:11 pm



Title: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Aleksandrs Guba on July 11, 2008, 05:28:11 pm
I would like to know about the very first NCR PC. As far as I know it has been released in 1983.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: uglytuna on August 17, 2008, 11:41:43 pm
The first NCR PC was the Decision Mate V released in 1984.  It was built in Augsburg Germany, and contained 64k bytes of memory, an 8 bit Zilog Z80 processor that ran the Digital Research CP/M Operating System, and an 16 bit Intel 8088 processor that ran the Microsoft MS-DOS Operating System.  It was an integrated unit with the monitor, and dual 5 1/4 inch floppy drives in a single cabinet, and a keyboard attached via a curly chord.  It was text based with green characters on a black screen with the standard monochrome monitor, and had limited graphics capabilities on an optional color monitor.  A later option replaced one of the floppy drives with a 10 megabyte hard drive.

NCR offered it to employees at a discount and I purchased one as soon as it became available.  It was my second PC, having purchased a NorthStar Advantage PC in 1982 just after IBM released their original PC in 1981.  The DMV came with a reversable flat/phillips blade screw driver that had a red handle with NCR PC written on it.  I still have the screw driver in my home desk drawer, and use it frequently.  It also had hardware modules that you could plug into expansion slots on the back for peripheral connectivity (RS-232 modem, parallel printer, 128K, 256k or 512k byte memory, etc.).

It had a Big Orange on/off toggle Button on the front that was affectionally known as "BOB."  When (not if) MS-DOS crashed, we all knew to hit BOB.  It was a very high tech design for the time, but because it was proprietary, could not compete with the generic IBM PC.  It ran the primary "killer" applications of the day including WordStar for word processing and SuperCalc or Lotus 1-2-3 for spreadsheets.  It also ran MBasic, enabling the user to develop and run custom applications.  NCR also released a proprietary local area network called DecisioNet for linking together several DMVs.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Aleksandrs Guba on August 18, 2008, 11:28:58 am
I've got an interesting info regarding the subject. Excerpts follows:

"What I remember is that the first NCR Personal Computer was the "Decision Mate IV". Model V came later, in 1984...
Still, model IV looked externally very much like model V..."

Any comments?


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Aleksandrs Guba on August 18, 2008, 07:10:20 pm
Here's another source: the Rhodes Island Computer Museum lists in its collection an NCR Decision Mate IV -> http://www.ricomputermuseum.org/col-collect.html.
Does this fact prove the thesis that the very first NCR PC was Decision Mate IV, or this is simply a mistype?


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: uglytuna on August 18, 2008, 09:19:24 pm
I think the reference to an NCR Decision Mate IV is erroneous.  To the best of my knowledge NCR never released a model IV.  There was however a Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4 that was in some ways similar to the NCR DMV.  NCR also later released the PC4 that was similar to the IBM PC, so that may also be part of the confusion.

The following web page contains a very good description of the DMV:

http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/v10n7/38_NCR_Decision_Mate_V.php


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: JimT on August 20, 2008, 11:31:11 pm
As I recall we had a DM-IV that was provided for internal use before the DM-V came out.  I'm guessing that was about 1983, but it's been a long time so I might not remember the year correctly.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Aleksandrs Guba on August 23, 2008, 04:11:18 pm
I think it's possible now to state, that:

1. The very first NCR personal computer model was Decision Mate.
2. The very first NCR personal computer for internal use was NCR Decision Mate IV (1983).
3. The very first NCR personal computer for public was NCR  Decision Mate V (1984).

To be completely satisfied I would like to have an image of the NCR Decision Mate IV.

I thank all of you, who participated in this investigation!

Aleksandrs


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: uglytuna on August 25, 2008, 11:24:58 pm
I have done some follow-up research on the first NCR Personal Computer.  Firstly, I contacted Reverend Weasel at the Rico Computer Museum and asked for additional info and pictures of his NCR Decision Mate "IV", which he has done.  It turns out to be a Class 3273, Model 1102-6000, which is indeed a Decision Mate V and NOT a Decision Mate IV.

Also, Chuck Exley announced the first NCR PC at the CP-M '83 Microcomputer Trade Show in San Francisco on January 20, 1983.  It was the Decision Mate V.

And finally, the Decision Mate V was first available for sale to the public in May of 1983.

I have not been able to find any evidence of any PC manufactured by NCR either for use internally, or released for sale to the public, before the DMV.  There were indeed many PCs used internally by NCR before the DMV, but from what I can determine, they were not manufactured by NCR.  In fact, it turns out that the Ithaca InterSystems DPS-1 was used extensively by our R&D organizations, and because of that, its Z-80 processor and S-100 bus internal design architecture was used as a model for our DMV architecture.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Zedy on October 16, 2009, 05:51:11 am
You are all wrong.
I had a 7200 running Microsoft Basic.
I discovered that Head Office in Sydney, Australia had once imported a 7200 with the dual floppy drives, mag tape drive and printer to evaluate.
They decided that there would never be a market for a Personal Computer in Australia and shelved it.
I was able to obtain a copy of the Basic that came with it and spent a whole Sunday cutting tracks and adding jumpers to the memory card I had so it was identical to the 64k memory board in a 7500.
I populated that board using chips I had to support my 8200 customers.
I eventually obtained a Criterion Console and converted that to a full blown 7500.
It looked much better with the 12" screen than it did with the vertical 9" one.
Best little Basic Computer I ever had.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: wally on October 16, 2009, 08:27:34 am
Hi Zedy,
Quote
You are all wrong.

That is not quite right. The NCR 7200 was not put on the market as a personal computer (PC) by the terms of NCR, it was introduced as a Datacapture-Terminal. The model I was used offline and the model IV could be used online to mainframes. It was marketet by NCR as "Punched-Card-Killer". :)

More on "What was the first personal computer?" in general you will find at the following Link. :)

http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml (http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml)

Regards Wally.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: modus on November 23, 2009, 09:38:13 pm
I seem to remember a NCR PC before the DMV.

It was an NCR/Adds Multivision PC with MUON Operating System.  ADDS was our terminal supplier at the time. The PC was based 796 series terminal case with orange specialty keys and dual floppies.

I think the MUON might have been a form of CP/M OS only because I remember using the famous "PIP" command for moving files.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: wally on November 23, 2009, 11:44:16 pm
Hi,
MUON was modular and re-locatable so the OS could be constructed
or reconstructed to fit onto the two system tracks of a 360k floppy. 
MUON was functionally a super set of MP/M and CP/M that runs all 2.2 software.
It was multitasking and multiuser.
The command set available from the prompt was notably larger than CP/M.
Regards Wally.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Zedy on January 17, 2010, 09:54:45 pm
Sorry again.

One of my customers, Butler's Fuel Merchants in Port Augusta, South Australia, had an NCR 7500 with the dual floppies and an 6440 printer running Microsoft's Basic.

I do believe the 7500 was available before the Decisionmate.



Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: wally on January 17, 2010, 11:09:49 pm
Hi Zedy,

Quote
Sorry again.

The NCR 7500 was not a PC and it wasn't marketet as a PC.
The NCR 7500 was classified as an intelligent Datacapture-System and wasn't classified by NCR as a personel computer. NCR never used the term PC for the 7200 or 7500. The 7500 with Basic+6 was introduced in October 1978. You could classify the 7500 as a microcomputer but not as a PC.

The Question by  Aleksandrs was:
Quote
I would like to know about the very first NCR PC.

Regards Wally.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: uglytuna on January 31, 2010, 07:18:41 pm
We also used the 7200 as an off-line data input terminal.  Didn’t it have cassette drives?  I thought we used it to create input files for the 8200.  I don’t remember it having floppy drives.  Does anybody know when it was released for marketing?  I know, at the time, we didn't call it a PC like we did with the DMV.  In fact, to my memory, we didn't use the term "PC” or “Personal Computer" until IBM released their "PC."  Marketing might have wanted it to be a “Punched-Card-Killer”, but to my memory that title should go to the 735, and later the 736 key-to-tape units.  As I recall, we sold a whole bunch of them to replace the IBM 026 (and our own 029) card keypunch.

I’m curious about the NCR/Adds Multivision PC.  If it was marketed with ‘PC” as part of it’s name and ran off the self CP/M “killer app” programs (e.g. WordStar, etc.), it would indeed be our first PC.  Does anybody know if this is the case?  When was it released to Marketing?


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Aleksandrs Guba on January 31, 2010, 07:48:28 pm
I remember NCR 7200 quite well. We obtained three of the NCR 7200 Model 1 at the end of 1977. Nobody named it as a "PC". Terms used were "Terminal" or "Data Collection Unit" while the official name was "Data Entry Terminal". There was a cassettes block provided, no any other external data storage.

You may find how we used them here: http://www.thecorememory.com/html/my_ncr_computers.html and some information about these machines here: http://www.thecorememory.com/html/ncr_7200.html or here: http://www.thecorememory.com/html/computers.html.

Regards,

Aleksandrs


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: wally on January 31, 2010, 08:00:53 pm
Hi uglytuna,
ADDS introduced the Multi-Vision system in 1979.
It was the first multi-user desktop computer brought to the market.
The NCR 7200 was introduced Oct. 1975 and it had 1 or 2 cassette-drives.
The NCR 7500 was introduced Oct. 1978 and it had 1 or 2 cassette-drives.
Regards Wally.

http://www.thecorememory.com/assets/images/NCR_7200.jpg (http://www.thecorememory.com/assets/images/NCR_7200.jpg)

http://www.thecorememory.com/assets/images/NCR_7500.jpg (http://www.thecorememory.com/assets/images/NCR_7500.jpg)


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: uglytuna on January 31, 2010, 10:10:49 pm
So one must assume that the 7200 with dual FLOPPY DRIVES, mag tape drive (reel-to-reel or cassette?), and printer that Zedy said was imported into the Head Office in Sydney Australia must have been custom made for the International Division?

Are there any pics of the Adds Multi-Vision PC?  Marketing Brochures?  User and Hardware Manual?  Did NCR advertise and sell it as a PC?  Could it run WordStar and VisiCalc?  If so, I think we might have finally gotten an answer to your original question Aleksandrs.  If so, it deserves a place in http://www.thecorememory.com/html/my_ncr_computers.html


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: wally on February 01, 2010, 12:32:29 am
Hi,
PC or not PC, that is the question!
As far as I see it, the first NCR PC was the Decision Mate V.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_computer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_computer)

Quote
Are there any pics of the Adds Multi-Vision PC?
I haven't seen any pics of the ADDS Multivision.
The Multivision was a development of ADDS and not NCR.
But ADDS was a wholy owned subsidiary of NCR.
ADDS was an OEM and supplied also other companies i.e Radio Shack.
It was shipped by ADDS until 1985 and it was marketet as Desktop Microcomputer.

Quote
Did NCR advertise and sell it as a PC?
I haven't seen any NCR advertisement of the Multivision.

Quote
Could it run WordStar and VisiCalc?
Wordstar and Visicalc were running on CP/M and MP/M.
MUON was functionally a super set of MP/M and CP/M that runs all 2.2 software.
Therefor I assume, that you could run Wordstar and Visicalc.
But I also know, the Multivision had  the ADDS extended Microsoft Basic Compiler and a proprietary word pocessing package.

The first PC build by ADDS was the ADDS PC-I in 1985 and it was marketet as PC and it was compatible to the IBM PC. The OS were Microsoft MS-DOS 2.11 and PC-DOS 2.0.

Regards Wally.



Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: bugman50 on April 06, 2010, 04:51:11 pm
I can remember running service calls on either a 7200 or 7500 unit a local bank had.  While this machine did indeed run some version of BASIC I would not have classified it as a "Personal Computer (PC)".  For whatever reason this particular machine loved to corrupt data on the 8" floppy drives of which I spent many afternoons trying to recover.  I also remember when NCR officially joined the PC arena with the Decision Mate computer.  We were all told when the first television commercial would run and that the accompanying voice would be Christopher Plummer.   I remember telling my wife afterwords that the commercial seemed rather lame in its presentation despite Mr. Plummers excellent narration.



Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: Aleksandrs Guba on December 20, 2010, 10:16:59 pm
I've recently found this photo of, as stated, "NCR DecisionMate IV Model 1202 8088 with Dos 2.11". Is this what is stated or, perhaps, just another DMV?


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: RetrospectUK on January 05, 2011, 10:45:04 pm
This picture is of the NCR PC4, the full class and model being 3277 1202 8088 ( the last 4 digits provide information about the country and power lead)
The full description of the 3277 1202 was 'PC4i, colour, 256kb, dual flex disk, graphic controller, 32k, keyboard'.


Title: Re: The very first NCR personal computer
Post by: wally on January 05, 2011, 11:13:01 pm
That's correct.
Here you can find more information.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=539 (http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=539)
http://old-computers.com/MUSEUM/photos.asp?t=1&c=539&st=1 (http://old-computers.com/MUSEUM/photos.asp?t=1&c=539&st=1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZCS_Ud4cFY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZCS_Ud4cFY)

Regards Wally.