See also: Announcing the TC-70 and Introducing the Tomcat from Frank Hogg Labs.
I found some neat stuff going through my archives. Here is the original press release for the MM/1 OS-9 computer! Enjoy this trip down memory lane. It looks like I saved this file on June 9th, 1990.
****** ANNOUNCEMENT ****** Kenneth-Leigh Enterprises in association with Interactive Media Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce the MM/1(tm), the next computer of choice for Color Computer users. The MM/1 is a stand-alone system that can also be used with a customer's existing Color Computer 3 for complete OS-9 Level 2 compatibility. It accepts existing RGB Analog monitors such as the Magnavox and Tandy models popular with CoCo users. Most Tandy drives and the Tandy Hi-Res mouse are also useable. Several solutions are being weighed that offer a level of RS-DOS (Disk Extended Color Basic) compatibility as well. Four fully-functional prototypes of the MM/1 were demonstrated at the Chicago RainbowFest April 6 - 8, 1990. Units are being shipped to developers in April in order to assure prompt availability of top-quality software. Planned software projects will make popular Color Computer(tm), Amiga(tm), and MS-DOS(tm) programs available to you on the MM/1. Kenneth-Leigh Enterprises and Interactive Media Systems, Inc. would like to thank the vendors and developers who have worked closely and quietly with us for the last six months to produce the MM/1 computer and its software. Their expertise and enthusiasm made the Chicago Rainbowfest an exciting debut for the MM/1. The Technical Specs =================== Signetics 68070 CPU (Motorola 68000 compatible) at 15 MHz Graphics resolution from 320x200 to 720x540 (interlaced) From 16 to 256 colors on-screen, depending on resolution mode Two serial ports: DB-9 and DB-25 (DB-25 configurable for MIDI -- the Musical Instrument Digital Interface) PC keyboard port for 101-key XT-style keyboard RGB-Analog output for your CM-8 or Magnavox monitor Operating system included Direct Memory Access (DMA) floppy disk controller 3.5" 1.44 MB floppy drive with 3 ms access track-to-track 1 MB RAM Technical Specs for Optional Input/Output Board =============================================== DMA SCSI host adapter built in -- supports hard drives, CD-ROM drives, and other 8-bit SCSI-compatible devices; transfer at 2 MBytes/sec or faster Memory upgradeable to 2 or 8 MB with SIMM memory Stereo 8-bit DMA port for sound sampling and playback Two parallel ports for parallel printer and OS/Gateway support CoCo joystick port with 8-bit resolution Hi-res Tandy mouse port Real-time clock, battery-backed with 56 bytes of non-volatile memory Technical Notes: ================ Graphics -------- The MM/1 can display up to 256 colors on screen simultaneously in each of two resolutions -- 320x200 and 320x400. It can also display 16 colors in each of the higher resolutions -- 640x200, 640x400, and 720x540. On the first board is a header for a palette controller that extends the palette of available colors to 16 million. Much of the graphics is controlled by a special graphics chip specifically designed to work with the MM/1's CPU. This chip executes graphics logic extremely fast and includes a pixel accelerator that substantially reduces CPU overhead. Both the CPU and the graphics chip were designed by Signetics, a Philips subsidiary, for the upcoming Compact Disk-Interactive devices. This is the first home system to our knowledge that has been based on this cutting-edge technology. The higher resolution modes are possible with an interlace mode. Unlike interlace mode on the Commodore Amiga, the MM/1 interlace mode displays virtually no flicker. In interlace mode and with a montitor that supports overscan (such as the multisynchronizing monitors from NEC), a customer can view up to 720x540 pixels on one screen. This is an ideal mode for previewing documents in desktop publishing applications or CAD. For comparison, this mode has three times the number of pixels as the Color Computer hi-res mode. It can show up to 60 lines of text. CPU --- The Signetics 68070 is a Motorola compatible CPU in a quad flat-pack design. Extra features support DMA. It runs at 15 MHz, providing an optimal system throughput of over 1000 Dhrystones (for comparison, the Atari ST running OS-9 logs in at around 750 Dhrystones). Optimal speed is reached when you have both the CPU board and the I/O board working together. The CPU is proving to be a very popular chip for embedded applications. I/O Support ----------- The MM/1 has unprecedented support for peripherals and sound. A fully-configured system has three serial ports, two parallel ports, PC keyboard port, RGB-A port, DMA sound (data acquisition port). Many of the ports are expressly designed to support your existing investment in hardware including MIDI and Tandy Hi-Res mouse support. You can also use a Logitech serial mouse on this system. It is trivial to use a terminal on the DB9 port, making a multiuser system both low cost and simple. On the first board, you will see two serial ports, one a DB9 and one a DB25. The DB25 can be modified (either at the factory or by the customer) to be a MIDI port with optional low-cost MIDI hardware. As mentioned, the DB9 can be used for a terminal. The PC keyboard port is designed for standard XT-style keyboards. Customers can take advantage of pricing competition in the PC market, where excellent keyboards are extremely affordable. Floppy disk controller is included at no extra charge. Also, a 1.4 Megabyte floppy drive is included. These drives are the popular 3.5" variety that provide fast and reliable performance. One disk contains as much data as nine (9) standard Tandy format disks, or four (4) double-sided disks. The MM/1 floppy controller uses DMA to access memory. This improves system performance and makes for smoother multitasking. DMA permits applications to play back sound while accessing large data or graphics files. The header for the daughterboard allows the factory or customer to easily add a palette chip that lets one choose any 256 colors from a palette of 16 million. (Graphics in the 320x400 mode are breathtaking with 256 colors.) The RGB-A port allows the use of your existing Tandy CM-8 or Magnavox 8515 monitor. RGB-A to composite converters are already available from Color Computer vendors if you wish to use an inexpensive monochrome composite monitor on the MM/1. DMA port -------- The DMA port on the MM/1 is a multifunction port that samples at line levels at 350 KHz or faster. This allows the sampling of sound from cassette decks or synthesizers for playback on cue. The DMA port uses dual (stereo) AD/DA converters. Sampling rate is variable so that the customer can select the optimum rate (faster rates use more memory but record and playback higher frequency sound). The DMA port can also be used for data acquisition. The MM/1 is already considered a viable platform for medical and industrial data acq applications. Joystick/mouse ports -------------------- The second board contains a CoCo joystick port with 8-bit resolution. This makes for smooth game playing. A port is provide for the Tandy Hi-res mouse, too. A powered DB-9 port allows the use of a professional Logitech serial mouse. These mice come in a wide variety of packaging and features, and are competitively priced. Miscellaneous ------------- The MM/1's second board contains a real-time clock that is battery backed and contains some memory for variable storage. This is included at the express request of the majority of respondents to the Kenneth-Leigh Enterprises/Interactive Media Systems, Inc. survey taken last October. The MM/1 comes with 1 Megabyte of RAM (256x4). The second board accepts modern, inexpensive SIMMs (1 Megabyte x 8) that can expand the system up to nine Megabytes total. The first Megabyte is used for video memory once the second board has been added. Otherwise, the system and video share the first Megabyte. Software support ---------------- Interactive Media Systems, Inc. is implementing a developers program. Titled The MM/1 Early Developers Program, it provides full MM/1s to developers, with operating system and languages, at about 20% off of list prices. Members in the program receive system software updates, information about the hardware that may be required, on-line and telephone support, and advance notice of many new products. At the end of the development, Interactive Media Systems, Inc. guarantees a purchase of finished units for reselling. This encourages developers to produce salable products and reduces the ultimate cost of the computer to them. For more information, please contact the address below. In addition to work that current developers are planning, Interactive Media Systems, Inc. is working with software engineers from the Color Computer, IBM, and Amiga markets. Planned projects include DOS emulation, versatile windowing system with a mainstream Graphical User Interface (GUI), hypertext, and multimedia support. Other plans include porting major DOS development environments over to the MM/1, allowing key players in the DOS world to simply recompile their source code on the MM/1. Interactive Media Systems, Inc. is aggressively supporting the MM/1 in order to provide an irresistable value to Color Computer owners who are ready to move up into the 680x0 world. Expandibility ------------- While the two-board MM/1 system does not require a bus, one will be available in 1990. Designed as a single-master 96-pin 32-bit bus, it will provide performance and flexibility unmatched in home computers -- and in many office computers as well. When the customer wishes to purchase the bus, he or she can easily install it into the case, adding the two-board system on the bus card. The specification for the bus will be published to encourage third-party developers to create interesting and useful add-on boards. Possible boards may include digitizers, tape backup to streaming tape units or VCRs, networking support, additional I/O for more involved setups (more users, more printers, and so on), and even other processing units. When a customer wishes to upgrade to another CPU and graphics board, the two-board MM/1 can be removed from the case, inserted in another with its own power supply, and used as a graphics terminal. Graphics terminals such as this can be created at low cost to construct a multiuser/networking environment ideal for small offices and education. Pricing ------- In this price-sensitive market, Interactive Media Systems, Inc. is offering a low-cost machine with high functionality. To keep the price as low as possible, IMS is negotiating favorable contracts with software vendors to ensure the best value for our customers. As a result, all prices are preliminary. The preliminary list price is $899 for the base system, $1199 for the full system with more memory. Street prices in the Color Computer market will be much lower, with anticipated discounts of twenty percent off of list price. Availability ------------ The MM/1 and all other home computer systems must be FCC approved to be sold legally. (Many products are sold illegally without FCC approval. Interactive Media Systems, Inc. will not sell illegal products.) As a result, the MM/1 may not be generally available until late summer, with an anticipated debut date of August 1, 1990. Plans for debuting the MM/1 include VIP parties in North Carolina, Chicago, New York, Quebec, and Washington, DC. Interested potential customers should be sure to send in their name and address to Kenneth-Leigh Enterprises to be invited to these celebrations. Kenneth-Leigh Enterprises is handling the marketing for Interactive Media Systems, Inc. For more information contact: Kenneth-Leigh Enterprises 1840 Biltmore Avenue NW Suite 10 Washington, DC 20009 Interested parties can subscribe to The Insider(c), a publication of Interactive Media Systems, covering the MM/1 and other multimedia topics. Cost is $9.95 for four quarterly issues. Stay tuned for the video of the MM/1!
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