IBM Displaywriter System

YEAR: 1980

INITIAL PRICE: US$7,895 (equivalent to $23,449 in 2017)

 

THIS COMPUTER HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME IN A VERY BAD CONDITION. CURRENTLY WORKING ON RESTORING, I WILL POST THE BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES HERE AND ALSO THE LINK TO THE RESTORATION BLOG.

THE PICTURES ARE FROM THE WEB – SOON TO UPLOAD THE REAL ONES

Source – Wikipedia

The IBM Displaywriter System 6580 was a dedicated microcomputer-based word processing machine that IBM‘s Office Products Division introduced in June 1980.[1][2]The system consisted of a central processing unit, based on the Intel 8086, in a desktop case, a monochrome CRT monitor atop the CPU, a detached keyboard, a detached dual disk drive that used 8-inch floppy disks, and a detached daisy wheel printer. The system booted from an 8-inch floppy disk that stored IBM’s internally developed word processing software. The operator stored the “documents” (i.e., data files) on additional diskettes.

“A basic system — consisting of a display with a typewriter-like keyboard and a logic unit, a printer and a device to record and read diskettes capable of storing more than 100 pages of average text — cost $7,895 and leased for $275 a month.”[1] The basic word-processing software was Textpack E, with simple mail merge; Textpack 2 added support for double-sided disks, networking, spellchecking, and print spooling; Textpack 4 added automatic hyphenation, columns, and more sophisticated merging; and Textpack 6 added automatic footnoting and outlining. Other options included multilingual dictionaries, graphics, and reports.[3]

The Displaywriter’s features were comparable to other dedicated word processing machines of its era. The features included mail-merge, with fields designated as a01, a02, a03, etc. Elementary arithmetic could be applied to the fields.

The basic IBM Displaywriter was a standalone system. An optional central storage and management unit was available, which permitted multiple Displaywriters to share storage and a printer.

UCSD p-System[4][3] operating system and CP/M-86[5][6] were available for the Displaywriter System but were not its regular Operating System.

Connections to other IBM systems included:

  • IBM 3278 emulation program[3] to attach to IBM 3274/3276 controllers, IBM 4321/4331, or IBM 4701.
  • IBM 3277 emulation program to attach to IBM 3271, 3272 or 3274 controllers.
  • Connection to IBM 8100 systems which use DPCX/DOSF.

Because of Displaywriter’s popularity, IBM later produced DisplayWrite software for the IBM Personal Computer, with a similar user interface and equivalent to Textpack 4.

IBM Displaywriter with keyboard, CPU, monitor, and dual-drive 8in floppy disk “toaster”
Developer IBM
Manufacturer IBM
Type microcomputer
Release date June 1980[1]
Introductory price US$7,895 (equivalent to $23,449 in 2017) / leased for US$275 a month.

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