High performance coprocessor boards of the 80s and 90s - was Re: SGI ONYX

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Wed Apr 20 11:21:21 CDT 2016

On 2016-04-20 11:32 AM, Pete Turnbull wrote:
> On 20/04/2016 16:00, Toby Thain wrote:
>> On 2016-04-20 10:27 AM, Pete Turnbull wrote:
>>> It did indeed - I have one.  Also a couple of 6502 CoPros, a 65C102, a
>>> 32016 and a pair of Z80s, which were nice in their day.
>> Nice collection. I'd forgotten about the 32016! What software ran on
>> these respective processors?
> There was a collection of "scientific" software for the 32016 - things
> like Spice, some maths software, and assorted CAD stuff; basically the
> software licensed for the 32016 ACW and the Master Scientific, which
> came later.  The Z80 CoPro ran CP/M - real licensed CP/M 2.2, not the
> bastardised often-not-compatible "CPN" lookalike offered by Torch, and

Ah... Torch Turbo... that rings a bell. I think that might have been 
what my high school's Tube machine was. I don't remember being aware 
that it wasn't legit CP/M.

We also had a Z80 MP/M machine in the same computer room, with two 
terminals, a mark/sense card reader, and high speed Lear-Siegler 
printer. That was the only computer at the school when I started. It was 
soon joined by a lab of about 20 BBC Micro Model B's.


> came with GEM and various office software.  The ARM CoPro originally had
> little software beyond TWIN (the Two Window Editor), assembler, BASIC,
> and utilities.  The 6502 variants - including the 65C102 that was used
> for the Master Turbo - just ran whatever you'd otherwise have on the
> Beeb itself, albeit with a faster clock, larger memory space, and in
> some cases a "High" version that lived right at the top of memory.

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