If you were around when the Altair 8800 was king, you might remember the name Cromemco. They were an early vendor of add-ons for the Altair, along with companies like Godbout and Morrow. The company was mostly famous for a very crude digital camera for the Altair and a similarly-crude graphics interface card. They graduated into building S-100 bus computers. Like many similar companies, they could taste the upcoming home PC market, and they wanted a piece of it. Their answer? The $1,800 C-10 Cromemco Personal Computer, and you can see [Vintage Geek’s] thoughts on the odd machine in the video below.
The system ran CP/M and, like many similar systems, got lost in the rush to get the IBM PC. Compared to other computers of the time, the C-10 was compact. The keyboard layout seems odd today, but there wasn’t really much standardization in those days.
The video doesn’t feature as much of a teardown of the machine down as we would have liked, but there were a few peeks inside the monitor. They first tried powering up the computer live on the video. The screen lit up but didn’t show anything legible. We wish they had eased the voltage up on the old machine since we are reasonably certain the power supply capacitors are shot. With luck, they didn’t fry any of the components. But we hope they will get it running soon.
We didn’t remember the Cromemco C-10, but that’s not totally surprising. There were many computers that came and went during that time, from the Sol-20 to the nameless prototypes that never made it to market. If you want to see what a webcam looked like in 1975, be our guest.