SwTPc logoHistory


Before selling any computers, SwTPC had been in business selling electronic kits, amplifiers and such. In 1974 they began producing the TVT-1, a "television typewriter" much like a computer terminal, from a design by Don Lancaster. (Although I have since heard that Don Lancaster disavows this, insisting instead that the two products developed independently.) Don also published a book on the same subject, titled "The Television Typewriter Cookbook". (MacTech magazine has an article about all this.)

The first of their computer line, introduced in 1975, was based on the Motorola 6800 microprocessor. For only $395, you could buy an actual working computer system with 2048 bytes of RAM, a "monitor" program in ROM, and a serial I/O port. Floppy-disk drives and a video terminal were also available.

Parts of a catalog from 1978 (or 1979?) have been scanned/typed in for your viewing pleasure.

Later on, systems based on the 6809 were introduced, eventually with a dynamic address-translation scheme allowing up to a megabyte of RAM even though the processor itself really had only a 16-bit wide address bus. On this platform, a Unix-like OS called UniFLEX was available from Technical Systems Consultants. (Anybody want to send me info about OS/9?)

Today they are gone, but not forgotten. We will all be very lucky if the industry is ever again dominated by companies and people like these.

Daniel Meyer, the founder of SwTPC, passed away in May of this year (1998). His son gave a little information about him.


14-Jun-1998
yakowenk@csx.unxc.edu
(remove all "x"s to get a valid address)