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 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