Cromemco got its name from Crothers Memorial Hall at Stanford University, where Roger Melen and Harry Garland founded the company as students. The company still exists in Europe selling massively parallel and multiprocessor systems.
The Z-1 was the first system that Cromemco produced, and it used an IMSAI I-8080 chassis to house the Z-1 CPU and other Cromemco boards.
The Z-2 series was the first commercial microcomputer that the U.S. Navy allowed for use aboard ship as is. The system was overbuilt with an industrial-strength 30-watt power supply and a heavy card cage. Early units had no bays in the front panel for mounting storage devices. Cromemco sold the Z-2 for dedicated computing tasks, which is why its front panel has no switches or keys. Users could let the Z-2 run its tasks without fear of someone interfering with its operation. In late 1977, Cromemco introduced the Z-2D, which had an RS-232C interface and could accommodate up to four internal 5.25-inch floppy drives.
Cromemco used custom LSI gate arrays to reduce the overall chip count for the C-10 SP to 45. Without this technology, the count would have been 105. The company might have been the first to use this technology for a personal computer. The main system is built into the monitor, which sold alone as the C-10 model.
The CS1 became a dual-processor system with the addition of the 68000 CPU capable of running both CP/M and CROMIX. CROMIX is multiuser operating system and a variant of Unix that is capable of running CP/M software. The company shipped 1,000 68000-based systems a month in late 1982. Cromemco also offered a System Two (CS2) series that was configured similarly to the CS1, but designed for industrial applications.
Cromemco Z-1 (1976, early micro)
Original Retail Price: $2,495
Base Configuration: 4MHz Z80 CPU, 22 S-100 slots, 8K RAM, up to 8K ROM, RS-232 port, monitor in ROM, PROM programmer, power supply
Important Options: color terminal interface, joystick interface, BASIC in ROM, Cyclops data digitizer
Cromemco Z-2 Computer System (1977, early micro)
Original Retail Price: $595 kit, $995 assembled
Base Configuration: 4MHz Z80 CPU, 21 S-100 slots, power supply, rack-mount enclosure
Important Options: color graphics card, DAC converter, BASIC, bench cabinet
Cromemco System Zero (desktop)
Original Retail Price: $1,295
Base Configuration: Z80A CPU, CDOS or CROMIX, 128K RAM, RS-232C and parallel ports, BASIC
Video: 24-line x 80-column text
Cromemco C-10 SP (1982, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $1,785 to $2,895
Base Configuration: 4MHz Z80A CPU, CP/M or CDOS, 64K RAM, 24K ROM, external 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, integral 12-inch monochrome monitor, keyboard, two RS-232 and one parallel port, application suite
Video: 25-line x 80-column text, 720 x 384 graphics
Important Options: CLQ printer
Cromemco System One (a.k.a. CS1) (1982, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $4,995 to $9,995
Base Configuration: Z80A CPU; CROMIX, CP/M emulator, or CDOS; eight S-100 slots; 64K RAM (2MB max); two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives
Important Options: 68000 CPU, 5- or 20MB hard disk drive, dual 8-inch floppy disk drives
Cromemco A1000 (1985, desktop)
Base Configuration: 68000 CPU, 256K RAM (8MB max), 256K ROM, floppy disk drive, NTSC and PAL video ports, RS-232 port
Video: 640 x 512 graphics