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CompuPro - History

Compupro Logo

CompuPro started out as a company call Godbout Electronics founded by one of the legends of the early micro-computer era, Bill Godbout.  Unlike some of the other S-100 computer founders Bill had quite a bit of experience in building and selling computer/electronic equipment. He started in the business working as a manager and buyer for a guy named Mike Quinn who had a legendry electronics equipment store near Oakland Airport in California. Mike's store in the early 70's was a hive of activity where pioneers in the field like Lee Felsenstein, Bob Marsh  & Gordon French (Processor Tech) , George Morrow (ThinkerToys, Morrow Designs) , Chuck Grant & Mark Greenberg (Northstar Computers) , Howard Fulmer  (Equinox-100), Brent Wright (Fulcrum)  and many others hung out.  Eventually Bill started his own mail order business in the early 1970's selling electronic experimenter kits.  He setup in the building behind Mike Quinn -- thereby always being in contact with new products, ideas and people. 
 
Bill started in the S-100 board business in 1976 by selling RAM memory boards out of his Godbout Electronics mail order business. His contacts and experience in getting chips fast and at good prices help him get going quickly and allowed Godbout Electronics to fill a market need for boards that Altair, IMASI and even Processor Technologies could not meet in those early days.  In the end Godbout/CopmuPro had more different types of S-100 RAM boards than anybody else in the business. All their boards were static RAM boards. As the business grew the evolved into most other S-100 board types eventually putting together complete S-100 systems. Their S-100 boxes were arguably the most solid and reliable ever made. His innovative products played a large part in the success of the S-100. Bill played a major role in setting the specs for the S-100 bus IEEE-696 standard, being one of its authors.

8-16 Box


CompuPro made a number of complete systems over the years.  The CompuPro 8/16 came in various forms of capability and probably represented the best example of a S-100 boards cooperating with each other. It was one of the last commercial systems to come out for the S-100 bus. There are still some of these boxes around still working! At a late point in the companies history CompuPro started to call themselves Viasyn.  Late boards were labeled with this name.

The CompuPro 8/16 was probably the last commercial system to come out for the S-100 that was marketed to both hobbyists and commercial users in the mid to  late 1980s.  However like Cromemco, Compupro designed and sold even more advanced systems based on the S-100 bus to commercial users up until they went out of business in 1990/91. These systems were of little interest to hobbyists because of their extreme cost, and the fact they were primarily designed to support connections to multiple users each working at a “dumb terminal”.

A note of caution: some of the later Viasyn boards and systems were run without the voltage regulators on the boards. Instead, 5V was supplied on a non-standard S-100 bus.  If you put these boards into a standard S-100 system without the regulators reattached, you will fry the board IC's.

 

Other CompuPro S-100 Boards
CPU8085-88  CPU86-87  CPU-Z  Disk1  Disk1A  Disk1B  Disk2  Disk3   EconoROM2708  Interfacer 1  
RAM Boards   Interfacer 3  Interfacer 4  Interfacer II  M-Drive  MPX-Board  PC-Video  
System-Support1  System-Support2   SPIO  Spectrum  SP186   CPU-286
   68000  32016  SPUZ

 

his page was last modified on 10/25/2013