Feeling nostalgic about the good old 16k bytes MCM/70?

Feeling nostalgic about the “old days”, when the first portable PCs came on the scene? If so, you might want to attend a seminar at York on March 28, 11am at Curtis Lecture Hall J.

The seminar, sponsored by the Department of Computer Science, will be a held in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the world’s first portable PC – a Canadian-made MCM/70 microcomputer (right).

The computer specs aren’t impressive by today’s standards, but people were impressed by its capabilities when it first came out. In fact it was ahead of its time. With its16k bytes of address space available for the system and implemented on an Intel 8008 using APL, it solved business, engineering and scientific problems. It used a 32-character display, digital cassette tape, object-oriented file system, virtual memory, active I/O bus and a switching power supply with battery backup.

Andre Arpin, left, a member of the core engineering team which designed the computer, will be the guest speaker. He is going to talk about the exciting early days at MCM and review some of the software and hardware challenges that the design team faced during the MCM/70 project.

For more information about the event, visit the York University Computer Museum Web site at http://www.cs.yorku.ca/museum.html. The museum is a historical collection and a research centre for the history of computing located in the Department of Computer Science. Its mission is to preserve, document and interpret the history of the information age in Canada, with special emphasis on the creation and the development of the Canadian microcomputing industry.