tumblokami:

The IBM System/23 Datamaster, released in July 1981, one month before the announcement of the IBM PC, is probably the most important microcomputer you’ve never heard of. Using an Intel 8085 CPU with 64KB of RAM, this 90-pound computer was designed so that a novice could unpack it, plug it in, and start working with the built-in BASIC interpreter. Oddly, it uses dual 8” floppy drives, which were falling out of use in favor of newer, higher density 5.25” floppy drives.
The computer came with a printer, as well as an optional secondary terminal; this allowed two people to use the computer at once, increasing productivity. The system also came bundled with business management and word processing programs. However, this was not a cheap system. It cost a whopping $9,830 for a basic single-user unit with printer. This was because the system was not aimed at home users; it was aimed at businesses that couldn’t afford the more powerful minicomputers sold by IBM.
But the most important aspect of this machine is what happened afterwards. When the Datamaster was finished, the design team went right to work on their next big microcomputer project: the IBM PC. At this time, IBM had developed a new microprocessor that ran circles around other chips of its time. And, they had also finished developing a powerful, robust operating system that made CP/M and even DOS look like toys. But they didn’t use them for the IBM PC. The Datamaster was made with Intel chips, and as such the developers were extremely familiar with them. Therefore, they instead opted to use Intel chips just like the Datamaster in the IBM PC. They even reused the 62-pin expansion format first created for the Datamaster! The world of microcomputers would have been dramatically different if it were not for this obscure machine.

tumblokami:

The IBM System/23 Datamaster, released in July 1981, one month before the announcement of the IBM PC, is probably the most important microcomputer you’ve never heard of. Using an Intel 8085 CPU with 64KB of RAM, this 90-pound computer was designed so that a novice could unpack it, plug it in, and start working with the built-in BASIC interpreter. Oddly, it uses dual 8” floppy drives, which were falling out of use in favor of newer, higher density 5.25” floppy drives.

The computer came with a printer, as well as an optional secondary terminal; this allowed two people to use the computer at once, increasing productivity. The system also came bundled with business management and word processing programs. However, this was not a cheap system. It cost a whopping $9,830 for a basic single-user unit with printer. This was because the system was not aimed at home users; it was aimed at businesses that couldn’t afford the more powerful minicomputers sold by IBM.

But the most important aspect of this machine is what happened afterwards. When the Datamaster was finished, the design team went right to work on their next big microcomputer project: the IBM PC. At this time, IBM had developed a new microprocessor that ran circles around other chips of its time. And, they had also finished developing a powerful, robust operating system that made CP/M and even DOS look like toys. But they didn’t use them for the IBM PC. The Datamaster was made with Intel chips, and as such the developers were extremely familiar with them. Therefore, they instead opted to use Intel chips just like the Datamaster in the IBM PC. They even reused the 62-pin expansion format first created for the Datamaster! The world of microcomputers would have been dramatically different if it were not for this obscure machine.