The story begins in 1968, when two Texans, Phil Ray and Gus Roche, founded a firm called Computer Terminal Corporation. As the name implies their first product was a Datapoint 3300 computer terminal replacement for a mechanical Teletype.
However, they knew all the while that the 3300 was only a way to get started, and it was cover for what their real intentions were - to create a programmable mass-produced desktop computer. They brought in Jack Frassanito, Vic Poor, Jonathan Schmidt, Harry Pyle and a team of designers, engineers and programmers to create the Datapoint 2200.
In an attempt to reduce the size and power requirement of the computer it became apparent that the 2200 processor could be printed on a silicon chip. Datapoint approached Intel who rejected the concept as a "dumb idea" but were willing to try for a development contract. Intel belatedly came back with their chip but by then the Datapoint 2200 was already in production.
Intel added the chip to its catalog designating it the 8008. A later upgrade, the 8080 formed the heart of the Altair and IMSI in the mid-seventies. With further development it was used in the first IBM PC-the PC revolution's chip dynasty. If you're using a PC, you're using a modernized Datapoint 2000.
|Publisher:||Hugo House Publishers, Ltd.|
|Product dimensions:||6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.69(d)|
About the Author
the computer and technology field or more than 30 years,
writing hundreds of articles for scores of magazines, plus
nine books. Wood’s clients over the years have included
publications in U.S., Canada, England, Germany, Holland,
Belgium, Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines, including
Computerworld, Smart Enterprise, Scientific American, the
Chicago Tribune, and scores of others. His career made him
a front-line witness to the history of the personal computer
industry, putting him in contact with some of its leading
figures while he reported on its events and trends.
Prior to becoming a freelance writer, from 1980-
1982 Wood was a publicity writer for Datapoint and
became familiar with the firm’s remarkable story and the
chief personalities behind it—and saw over the subsequent
decades how that story was ignored or discounted by the
rest of the industry.
A resident of San Antonio (Datapoint’s home) Wood
is married, has twin adult sons, and is a grandfather.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having worked for Computer Terminal Corporation in 1972, I personally saw the company through its brilliant rise up to the demise of the company. I left in 1992, but I saw the changes that resulted when an excellent company grew too fast, and the bad business decisions that resulted in the eventual demise of the company in 1996. Datapoint was a remarkable company, and anyone who's interested in computers will want to hear what brought such an innovative company to its knees and resulted in it having to close. It is sad that most of the original players are gone now, and one of the original people in the forming of the company (mentioned and a contributer of information in the book), Jack Frassanito, is still very much alive and kicking. These original founders were absolute geniuses who constructed a company at eat right time and competed with the big boys at the time, IBM, DEC, and HP. Read the book and see how they did it. Read this book and learn that the computer you're using is a direct descendent of the original Datapoint machine, and that Datapoint had a working and active LAN system working and in use by customers years before any other company did. How did the company lose this edge? Read the book and find out how they were unable to capitalize on this advantage. I am fortunate to have two copies in my possession. One book, the larger hardback copy was presented to me by Mr. Frassanito. The soft cover version was given to me by Austin Roche, son of one of the original founders, Gus Roche. Both books are of high quality print, but the hard cover version has glossy pages and much clearer pictures. The book features pictures of the players, and charts and other nice information that is logically laid out. The only gripe, if you can call it that, is the dry manner the story is told. If you have a particular interest in Datapoint, you will, for sure, want a copy that lays out the history of a remarkable company. People will be surprised to learn that PCs and microprocessors were the idea of geniuses living in Texas of all places!