"Mark Metzler wrote:
I was in WalMart last night, and I swung by the Electronics area. I was curious as to how much a replacement drive would cost me for my PC at home, which has a 17gb drive in it. They had a 80gig drive sitting on the shelf next to the surge suppressors for $70. Never mind that it comes with the software to copy everything to the new drive. So I stood there trying to do the math on what it would cost to equate that volume of storage with ST506 drives at $1995.00 a pop. My head started hurting, so I rounded the ST506 to $2000.
It would take 16,000 ST506’s to reach the memory of the drive in WalMart (again sitting on the shelf, not behind a locked cabinet).
At $2000.00 a pop, it would cost me $32,000,000.00.
Now that would have been a nice sale, but would have been stolen by Jim Scharffe or Mike Daniel.
Here is another perspective. If stacked on top of one another, they would be as tall as a 667 story building.
If from sea level, they would stack high enough to top the tallest building in Downtown Denver.
If sold with a cabinet and power supply, Josef Rabinowitz would be retired. "
"Ohmigod! I'm reminded of when I worked for Heath Kline at Priority One Electronics in Chatsworth...and before that for Galaxy Computers in Woodland Hills when the Commodore 64 was introduced! We thought it huge compared to the Timex Sinclair...."
"We both have been into computers since 1970's & currently own 6 OSBORNE's in working condition. Although we use DOS now, we miss cpm & how actually FAST it was compared to Windows. We miss dBase. Append as well instead of Access now. We still have data on 5 1/4" discs we need to put into the dos machines we use now.
Sorry to hear you are leaving the business - we certainly hope you find a buyer who will keep the collection intact!
Best to you & your wonderful efforts!"
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Exidy Exidy Sorcerer
Exidy Sorcerer new in box with Basic cartridge.
EXIDY SORCERER COMPUTER
The Exidy Sorcerer Computer made its’ debut at the Long Beach Computer Show in April of 1978. It was the result of collaboration by Paul Terrell founder of Byte Shop computer stores, Howell Ivy, and Pete Kauffman of Exidy, Inc.
Pete Kauffman and Howell Ivy owned one of the leading coin operated video game companies at the time and as Paul Terrell would put it “Their graphic designs with a computer were so good they would take quarters out of my pocket.” The Personal Computer Marketplace was in dire need of a PC that exhibited good graphics capabilities and no one knew that better than Paul Terrell who had just sold his chain of 58 Byte Shop Computer Stores to John Peers of Logical Machine Corporation.
Paul convinced his friends Pete and Howell to design and build “The Computer of his dreams”, The Exidy Sorcerer. “Computers are like Magic to people”, says Paul, “So lets give them Computer Magic with the Sorcerer Computer” and hence the name. Paul also wanted a “Consumer Computer” that was user friendly beyond anything currently in the marketplace. Early Home Computers, Hobby Computers, Personal Computers were designed and manufactured for the technically savvy. Consumer Electronics had not yet recognized Home Computing as a viable market and were only offering Calculators and Video game console to its marketplace.
And Magic is what Howell Ivy came up with in the design of the Sorcerer. As the VP of Engineering and partner in Exidy Inc. Howell was a natural computer enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge in computer graphic design and what excited consumers in computer graphics. He was also astute enough to realize that the current marketplace was principally made up of technical engineers, programmers and technicians that wanted more than just a video game in their home computer. With that Howell set out to design the Exidy Sorcerer to be the most innovative Personal Computer in the marketplace. At the time Exidy would be competing with the Apple II, Commodore Pet, and Tandy TRS 80 computers already in the marketplace.
The wish list of design improvements over the existing designs in the marketplace went like this:
1. A keyboard computer that could plug into a Television Set like the Apple II and TRS 80 but also plug into a computer monitor to display high resolution graphics.
2. An easily programmable graphics character set like the Commodore Pet so a novice programmer want-a-be could write Basic Language Programs that would dazzle their friends. The Sorcerer design was eloquent with the highest resolution in the marketplace and innovative because the graphic characters could be reprogrammed to represent any kind of 8x8 character the programmer wanted and wasn’t fixed like the graphic characters on the Commodore Pet. Howell did such a good job in this area of the design that it was to achieve a “Most Innovative” award at the Consumer Electronics Show after its introduction.
3. The fastest micro computer chip with the most software compatibility in the marketplace. The Exidy Sorcerer used the Z 80 Processor from Zilog Corp. ( the same as the TRS 80 from Tandy but the Apple II and Commodore Pet used the slower 6502 Processor from MOS Technology) which allowed it to run the same Basic Language Software that was becoming one of the first standards in the personal computer industry, Microsoft Basic.
Exidy was one of the first companies to license software from Microsoft after they parted ways from MITS, Inc. and before they moved from New Mexico to Seattle.
4. Plug-In Software Cartridges so the Computer User could immediately begin using the computer at power-on. The user would not have to load a program from tape or disk to start operating the computer. Exidy would provide three program cartridges that they would provide under license, Microsoft 8 K Basic, Word Processor Cartridge (which was the “Killer AP’ for PCs at the time), and an Assembler Cartridge (for programmers to write their own custom software for proprietary applications). Blank cartridges were provided for custom applications and the most popular application was customer generated foreign language character sets, which made the Exidy Sorcerer the most popular International PC .
5. An expansion unit deigned to the Industry Standard S-100 Bus so that all of the low cost peripheral products presently in the marketplace could be attached to configure a computer system.
The standard plug in attachments to the keyboard case and included in the base price of the unit were a printer port for hard copy devices, cassette port for mass storage, and serial port for communications. Some of these were included with the competing products and some were add-on.
The Exidy Sorcerer was a total solution home computer that was competitively priced at $895 and went to market in Long Beach California in April of 1978 and generated a 4,000 unit back-log on introduction.