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1980s Computers Explanation of terms

The Superbrains



Intertec Data Systems (US)


Superbrain I & II

Date Launched

1980 (model I), 1982 (model II)


£1700 to £2800 depending on RAM and floppy disk capacity

Microprocessor type

Two Zilog Z80As @ 4 MHz
One processor controlled the disk drives, the other did everything else.

ROM size

2 kilobytes

Standard RAM

32 kilobytes

Maximum RAM

64 kilobytes

Keyboard type

Typewriter style with numeric pad

Supplied language

None built-in but BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN and APL could be loaded from disk.

Text resolution

80 columns x 24 rows

Graphics resolution

560 x 240 pixels

Colours available

The monitor was specially designed so that characters were properly focussed over the whole screen.



Cassette load speed

No cassette interface.
Was supplied with two built-in 5¼ inch floppy disk drives holding 180 KB on the model I or 750 KB on the model II.
For only an extra £2950 you could have a 10 megabyte hard disk drive.

Dimensions (mm)
Weight (grams)

544 x 586 x 370

Special features

All-in-one unit containing keyboard, electronics, 12 inch monitor and two disk drives in a single case.
Used the S-100 bus, an early standard interface for connecting peripherals.

Good points

Smart, modern appearance.
Ran the CP/M operating system.
RS-232C interface.

Bad points

Far too expensive for the home market.

How successful?

Not known.


As a self-contained system the Superbrain could feasibly be moved from office to office.
Was clearly aimed at the top end of the business market and CP/M applications including wordprocessing, spreadsheets, inventory, accounting etc. were available.
Intertec (later called Wells American Corporation) went on to make Intel 8086-based computers and, from the mid 1980s, fully IBM compatible 80286 and 80386 machines.

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