Basic Four / was Re: Microdata disk/tape images

Ian McLaughlin ian at
Sat Feb 7 18:58:29 CST 2015

> On Feb 7, 2015, at 4:28 PM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at> wrote:

> I programmed for a Microdata/REALITY system as a teenager ca. 1977 (business accounting applications), and I remember Basic Four as another competitor / minicomputer company in the business market, but never knew much about them.
> Can you (or anyone) briefly describe what distinguished Basic Four in the marketplace? What were they offering that was particular or special or 'interesting'?, esp. if they were using the same CPU initially?

From what I remember/can gather, MAI’s claim to fame was their Business Basic.  The MAI Basic Four BB-II machine ran Business Basic which was Basic with a bunch of database-type stuff built in.

I see your UBC email address, so you may be interested to know that the BB-II machine I acquired in the 90s was originally from the project that constructed Revelstoke dam.  From the software that was installed on it, it appears to have been used for both engineering calculations as well as payroll.


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