SOL 20 Terminal Computer
Charlotte A. Rogers, a Business Development and Planning Consultant from Sunny Vale California recently donated a complete Processor Technology SOL 20 Terminal Computer to the RICM.
The donation is a very early personal computer (1970’s) that is in mint condition. The Sol Computer was available after the Apple I and around the time of the prototype Apple II’s. Charlotte offers the following history.
Looking back to the 70's it is pretty amazing how far computers have come. I know my daughters were especially blessed having a computer geek Dad when home computers were in their infancy. Their dad built the Sol computer from a kit. They were the envy of the their classmates.
I remember an audio tape basically being the storage tape -- We used a big "hunking" tube monitor as the monitor for the Sol. The monitor must have weighed 30 lbs.
My husband would get a new computer every few years after he got the Sol. We even had a prototype Apple (basically between the Apple II and the Lisa) that Apple was testing - It was close to the IIe that was later sold by Apple. Today ... we have 3 computers in the house, we both have desk computers plus I have a laptop. Hard to believe we were ever without desktop computing
The SOL-20, designed by Lee Felsenstein and conceptualized by Bob Marsh and Les Solomon, was a personal computer that was first to include integrated keyboard, video and ROM in the same package.
The Sol-20 was an 8080 based system that incorporated the Processor Technology VDM-1 to produce video on a television or composite monitor. The system included a monitor ROM that allowed the user to boot the machine into a semi-usable mode on power up.
Software was provided on audio tapes. The storage media was also audio tapes common in the early 70’s.
Update August 2021: The Sol is now restored to working condition.