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In 1983 Tycom Corporation introduced the Tycom Microframe, heralded at the time as the "first fourth-generation computer".
The computer at the core was an Intel Corp. 8088-based multiuser system that had a performance range extending from a mid-range microcomputer to a high-end minicomputer of the time.
Described by some observers of the London computer scene as "future proof," Microframe contained a vendor-developed bus architecture called Versatile Base Bus Connect (VBC) that enabled its chassis, which was available in 6-, 12- and 22-slot versions, to accommodate Zilog Z80, Motorola 68000 and Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-11/70 board-level upgrades. The main Intel 8088 processor ran Microsoft MS-DOS, and the hosted CPU boards allowed the system to run other operating systems including CP/M (on the Z80) and Xenix (on the 68000 board).
This meant users could run three totally different operating systems or languages, many companies such as British Telecom, ITT, Thorn Ericsson and Ferranti expressed an interest in the machine.
Guestel, the parent company of Tycom was headed by a young tycoon named Alan Timpany, who was only in his mid twenties when the machine launched, he had apparently 'ruffled the feathers' of the old guard at companies such as IBM, to the extent that the public image of the two companies had to be brought up to scratch by appointing people like Sir Jack Stewart-Clarke as a non executive to the board.
Manufacturer: Tycom Corporation
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH46013. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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