COHERENT Z8000

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Udo Munk

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Jan 8, 2020, 4:15:45 PM1/8/20
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These days a discussion came up about Ithaca S100 bus systems in the S100 group.
I knew that MWC used a DSP 8000 S100 box from Ithaca to build the Z8000 version
of COHERENT, so I asked there if anyone has seen it.

Also the Commodore 900 system was discussed because MWC provided COHERENT
as OS for the box, which then never was produced by Commodore in favour of the
Amiga system.

Whatever, while googling around I found out that some C-900 systems survived,
most were called back by Commodore and destroyed though. But disk images were
archived as well as the COHERENT manuals for the system.

I talked to Bob Swartz if it is OK to mess with the bits and if this is covered by the
MWC license and Bob gave his OK. So I put disk images and manuals at my COHERENT
site:

https://www.autometer.de/unix4fun/coherent/index.html

Because hardware of the Commodore 900 and the Ithaca DPS systems is rare
nowadays it probably requires building of emulations of such Z8000 systems
for being able to use the stuff. So if there is any interest or if you want to
participate in such a system revival feel free to post here or contact me by
private email.

I have used a C-900 running COHERENT once for maybe a hour, probably in 1985.
I was seeing the local Commodore distributor for new stuff, we were using their
systems a lot for lab automatisation, mostly because of the IEEE bus, which
interfaced to a lot of lab equipment without further hardware interfaces.
The distributer had ONE box available to show off the new system and I used uemacs
to type in hello.c and compile it on the box. They said it would be released soon
and would cost 9999 german marks. Not cheap, ca. what an OK middle class car
costed at that time, but affordable with some saving for such a workstation.
And then Commodore canned the box :-(

Oh well, maybe it's possible to get one (emulated) now decades later in working condition ...
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