AIM65 (was Why blinkenlights ?)

M H Stein dm561 at
Wed Mar 21 13:53:24 CDT 2007

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 23:49:13 -0700
From: woodelf <bfranchuk at>
Subject: Re: Why blinkenlights ?

M H Stein wrote:

>> ---------------
>> I don't think that's the kind of micro he meant; my AIM65s had a
>> full keyboard and alphanumeric display in '79 (AND an onboard

>Did the AIM65's run any software?
>The Z80 was a S-100 design, but the lack of  a good
>power supply was my problem.

Well, unlike the Altair, a computer that didn't run any software wouldn't 
have sold very well in 1979; what do you call software, and how much'll 
you let me expand it? They did have BASIC, Forth and PL/65 (and an 
assembler of course), Serial I/O and two expansion busses, but although 
you could connect a terminal and disk drives I think CP/M would be a bit 
of a challenge... wouldn't want to run a Fortune 500's accounting on 
it and end up like the Enron & Worldcom boys (and our very own 
Lord Black of Crossharbour, presently starring in Chicago ;-).

But being (AC-powered) portable with a full keyboard and an integral 20 
or 40 column display & printer, there were quite a few applications for them 
on their own (e.g. insurance agents used them on the road, later moving to 
the more or less functionally equivalent but smaller Panasonic HHC).

They were also used a fair bit in the lab & industrial area.


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