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Sol 20

April 1975 USA

<picture of creator(s)>

Lee Felsenstein

papers & manuals

Diskdrive, TV modulator

Electric Pencil by Michael Schrayer (dec 1979)


Designed by Lee Felsenstein the Homebrew Computer Club moderator and one of the founders.
This PC is introduced during the computer fair in 1976 at the Shelbourne Hotel Atlantic city.

Based on an Intel 8080 and is the first machine to include a full typewriter keyboard. The first software written for this machine is 'Electric Pencil, a word processor written by Michael Schrayer (December). It seems that it is still sold in 2000!

Over 10.000 units are sold until 1979



Manufacturer: Processor Technology Corp.
Date of Release: April, 1975
Initial Suggested Retail Price: $1649 as a kit, $2129 assembled
Processor: 8080A
RAM: 10K
Ports: serial, cassette, 5 free slots for other peripherals



Processor Technology had planned on three forms of the machine: the Sol-20, the Sol-10, and the Sol-PC (note that use of "PC" years before IBM-PC ever showed up).

The Sol-10 was intended to be a stripped down Sol-20, functioning as a "smart terminal." The Sol-10 didn't have the expansion backplane, lacked the numeric keypad (optional), had a wimpy power supply and didn't require a cooling fan.
The Sol-PC was intended to be a single-board computer, which was not uncommon in the day. It was basically the motherboard from the Sol-20. However, it appears that few if any configurations other than the Sol-20 were ever shipped.

If you want to read an interesting account of the meteoric rise and fall of Processor Technology, get hold of a copy of the book, Stan Veit's History of the Personal Computer. (2)




This PC is still sold in 2000


Go Backhardware index Last Updated on 23 April, 2002 For suggestions please mail the editors 

Footnotes & References

1 ref: picture & text http://users.hoops.ne.jp/s-osaki/calculator/casioc/casioc.html
2 http://www.thebattles.net/sol20/sol.html