The Kaypro II is an exceptional computer. When it was introduced, it was one of the most versatile and cost-effective computers available. Its' main competitor was probably the Osborne 1 portable computer. The Kaypro was superior to the Osborne in many respects. In fact, the design was so good that many people chose them over a "desktop" machine. Both computers sold for $1,795.00 which included fairly complete software packages.
The Kaypro was built by Non-Linear Systems. The company
was headed by Andy Kay, a graduate of MIT. Among his other accomplishments
was the production of the first digital voltmeter in 1952. The
company went on to build a other CP/M and MS-DOS portable and desktop computers.
The Kaypro II runs the CP/M operating system. There were many programs that the computer could run.
Here are some of the main features of the Kaypro II:
Rugged Metal Case and Keyboard Housing construction
9 in. 80 charachter by 24 line green phosphor display screen
Zilog Z-80 CPU
CP/M Operating system - thousands of available programs
Two 5.25 in. 191K floppy disk drives
Parallel and Serial ports
Comes complete with software
Quiet operation, no noisy cooling fan required
Excellent Keytronic keyboard with numeric keypad
The Kaypro II was originally conceived as a quality portable computer for engineers. Non-Linear Systems had done a lot of work for the aerospace industry and they believed that such a machine would become popular. Apparently, they were right. Some buyers had to wait several months for delivery of their new Kaypro because they couldn't keep up with the demand.
The main things the Kaypro doesn't do are sound and graphics.
This computer was never meant to be a game machine, though I confess to
having a space invader game that runs on my Kaypro II. It uses regular
text characters instead of any graphics to represent the aliens, bases,
and what have you.
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