Columbia University Computing History
The IBM CS-9000
Announced in June 1982. Based on the 32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU, this personal
workstation was intended for interfacing with laboratory instruments to
acquire and analyze experimental data. In addition to a regular PC keyboard,
it had a touch panel for controlling experiments. It had a custom realtime
multitasking operating system called CSOS, and could be programmed in Pascal,
Fortran, or Basic. The 128KB memory could be expanded up to 5MB. Up to four
10MB hard disks could be installed, as well as various combinations of 5.25-
and 8-inch floppy disks. The screen had 80 columns × 30 rows in text
mode and 768 × 480 pixels in monochrome graphics mode. I/O interfaces
included serial, parallel, IEEE-488, and analog, with an integrated color
printer — a big package in a small footprint.
I attended a nondisclosure presentation of this product by IBM in 1980 or
'81 and recall commenting that if they stripped away the instrument control
panel and interfaces, they'd have a desktop computer that was miles ahead of
anything else on the market. Wrong division, I guess.
9000, Wikipedia, accessed 27 May 2019.