The Altos 986-40E is a multi user computer and dates from August 1985 with a serial number of 182356. It is technically much the same as the earlier 586, running on an Intel 8086 processor, the differences from earlier models are1 MB RAM and four extra serial ports. 3COM developed their new Ethernet card for the 986 model, running Xenix 3.0 and sold as a network disk server for IBM PC, XT computers installed with 3Com Ethernet expansion cards, it also had a 42 MB Winchester hard drive, there was also a model that had a 30 MB drive
Our machine was used at Greenwich College in London.
Founded in 1977 by David G Jackson and Roger William Vass Sr, Altos was one of the first producers of multiuser computers, and the company stayed true to that focus to 1990 when it was bought by Acer. Altos’s earliest models were based on the Z80 CPU and CP/M or its multiuser variant MP/M. Later, the company would focus primarily on UNIX-based systems. However, it also sold systems with MS-DOS or Pick.
By late 1981, Altos claimed to have installed 15,000 systems and was selling them at a rate of 1,000 a month. The company was acquired by Acer in 1990.
The 580 and 586 lines were announced in January and July of 1982, respectively. The 580 was a Z80 system running CP/M or MP/M while the 586 was based on the 8086 CPU running Xenix/UNIX. Both systems are nearly identical in appearance as was the 986 model introduced in November 1983.
Base Configuration: 10MHz 8086 CPU, 1MB RAM, two Z80 coprocessors, hard disk drive, 10 serial ports, Xenix
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH14513. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.