Altos Computer Systems (San Jose, Calif.)

Founded in 1977, Altos was one of the first producers of multiuser computers, and the company stayed true to that focus to 1990 when it was bought by Acer. Altos’s earliest models were based on the Z80 CPU and CP/M or its multiuser variant MP/M. Later, the company would focus primarily on UNIX-based systems. However, it also sold systems with MS-DOS or Pick.

By late 1981, Altos claimed to have installed 15,000 systems and was selling them at a rate of 1,000 a month.

The 580 and 586 lines were announced in January and July of 1982, respectively. The 580 was a Z80 system running CP/M or MP/M while the 586 was based on the 8086 CPU running Xenix/UNIX. Both systems are nearly identical in appearance.

Altos announced in 1987 what it claimed as the first 80386-based multiuser system, the Series 2000. It ran Altos V/386, its branded version of Microsoft Xenix System V. The Series 2000 came in three configurations.  The Model 2408S supported up to 20 users and came with 4MB of RAM and a 65MB hard disk drive. The Model 2417M supported up to 64 users by using Altos’s Multidrop cabling and transmission system, and it came with 4MB of RAM and a 142MB hard disk drive. The Model 2817M also came with Multidrop and supported 64 users. It came with 8MB of RAM and a 142MB hard disk drive.

The Altos 3068 was primarily an OEM unit sold under other brand names such as Tandem, ADP, and Bunker Ramo.

Altos ACS8000 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $4,990
Base Configuration: Z80A CPU, 208K RAM, two 8-inch floppy disk drives, six serial and one parallel port
Users Supported: 1 to 4
Important Options: 10MB, 20MB, or 40MB hard disk drive

Altos ACS8600

Altos ACS8600

Altos ACS8600 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $12,500
Base Configuration: 8086 CPU, 512K RAM (1MB max), 20MB hard disk drive, 8-inch floppy disk drive, eight serial and one parallel port
Users Supported: 1 to 8
Important Options: 40MB hard disk drive

Altos Series 5-15D (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $2,990
Base Configuration: Z80A CPU, 192K RAM, two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives, four serial and one parallel ports, MP/M II
Users Supported: 1 to 3

Altos Series 5-5D (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $5,490
Base Configuration: Z80A CPU, 192K RAM, 6MB hard disk drive, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, four serial and one parallel ports, MP/M II
Users Supported: 1 to 3

Altos 580 (January 1982, multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $6,490
Base Configuration: 4MHz Z80 CPU, 192K RAM, 10MB hard disk drive, 5.25-inch 1MB floppy disk drive, four serial and one parallel ports, MP/M II
Users Supported: 1 to 3
Size and Weight: 16.86w x 6h x 18d inches, 25 lbs.

Altos 486 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $6,490
Base Configuration: 8MHz 80186 CPU, 512K RAM (1MB max), 25MB hard disk drive, 1.6MB floppy disk drive, five I/O ports, Altos III terminal, Xenix
Users Supported: 1 to 4

Altos 586

Altos 586

Altos 586 (1982, multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $4,990
Base Configuration: 10MHz 8086 CPU, 256K RAM (1MB max), two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives, six RS-232 ports, Xenix/UNIX
Size and Weight: 16.86w x 6h x 18d inches, 33 lbs.
Users supported: 5 to 8
Important Options: 10MB or 40MB hard disk drive, integral communications board

Altos 686 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $4,995
Base Configuration: 7.5MHz 80286 CPU, 512K RAM (2.5MB max), 1.6MB floppy disk drive, six serial ports, Altos IV terminal
Users Supported: 1 to 6
Important Options: 80287 FPU, 50MB or 80MB hard disk drive, 60MB tape backup, Worknet LAN

Altos 986 (November 1983, multiuser system)
Base Configuration: 10MHz 8086 CPU, 1MB RAM, two Z80 coprocessors, hard disk drive, 10 serial ports, Xenix
Users Supported: 9
Important Options: Worknet LAN

Altos ACS68000 (1982, multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $14,500
Base Configuration: 8MHz 68000 CPU, 512K RAM (1MB max), 40MB hard disk drive, floppy disk drive, RM/COS or UNIX System III
Users Supported: 8 to 16
Important Options: 80MB hard disk drive

Altos 886

Altos 886

Altos 886 (1986, multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $6,695
Base Configuration: 7.5MHz 80286 CPU, Z80B terminal processor, 1MB RAM (2MB max), 40MB hard disk drive, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, Altos IV terminal, nine serial and one RS-422 ports, tape backup, Xenix 3.0
Users Supported: 8
Size and Weight: 17w x 6h x 18d inches, 36 lbs.
Important Options: 80287 FPU, 63MB hard disk drive

Altos 1086 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $14,990
Base Configuration: 8MHz 80286 CPU, 1MB RAM (2MB max), 50MB hard disk drive, 1.6MB floppy disk drive, 60MB tape backup, 10 serial and one parallel port
Users Supported: 1-10
Important Options: 80MB hard disk drive

Altos 2086 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $19,990
Base Configuration: 8MHz 80286 CPU, 1MB RAM (2MB max), 50MB hard disk drive, 1.6MB floppy disk drive, 60MB tape backup, 20 serial and one parallel port
Users Supported: 1-20
Important Options: 80MB hard disk drive

Altos 3086 (multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $29,990
Base Configuration: 12.5MHz 80286 CPU, 4MB RAM, 170MB hard disk drive, 1.6MB floppy disk drive, 60MB tape backup, four serial and two proprietary ports
Users Supported: 1-32

Altos 3068

Altos 3068

Altos 3068 (1986, multiuser system)
Base Configuration: 16.7MHz 68020 CPU, 8086 communications processor board, 1MB RAM (16MB max), 40MB hard disk drive, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, 60MB tape backup, 10 serial and one parallel ports, UNIX System V Release 2.2
Users Supported: 1 to 40
Size and Weight: 24h x 8w x 22d inches, 68 lbs.
Important Options: 63NB or 150MB hard disk drive, 68881 FPU

Altos Series 500 (multiuser system)
Base Configuration: 16MHz 80386 CPU, Xenix V/386 operating system or MS-DOS 3.3
Users supported: 8

Altos Series 1000 (multiuser system)
Base Configuration: 16MHz 80386 CPU

Altos Series 2000

Altos Series 2000

Altos Series 2000 (May 1987, multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $25,000 to $30,000
Base Configuration: 16MHz 80386 CPU, up to 16MB RAM, 60MB tape backup, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, Altos V Terminal
Users supported: 64
Important Options: Dual processor kit, up to 1.5GB hard disk storage

Altos Series 2000 Model 20 (multiuser system)
Base Configuration: 20MHz 80386 CPU, up to 16MB RAM, Xenix V/386 operating system
Users supported: 64
Important Options: Dual processor kit, up to 1.5GB hard disk storage

Altos 386 Series 1000 (April 1989, multiuser system)
Original Retail Price: $20,000 to $25,000
Base Configuration: 33MHz 80386 CPU, 4MB RAM (24MB max), eight serial ports, 125/150MB tape backup, 1.2MB floppy disk drive, 145MB hard disk drive, Xenix V/386 operating system
Size and Weight: 20h x 7w x 20d inches, 63 lbs.
Important Options: 80387 FPU, 300MB hard disk drive, up to two additional 8-port serial boards, Altos VII Display Terminal

Altos 68X Series 030 (multiuser system)
Base Configuration: 25MHz 68030 CPU, up to 16MB RAM, Pick operating system
Users supported: 250
Important Options: Dual processor kit, up to 1.1GB hard disk storage, 60MB or 120/150MB tape backup, UPS

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