Design Labs (TDL) -
TDL sprung up in 1976 out of the electronics community around
Trenton NJ. There was good local talent there seeded from the Bell Labs community.
They were the first to see the advantages of using a Z80 CPU instead of an 8080
on the S-100 bus. They had some good hardware designers and a young assembly programmer
called Roger Amidon
who built from scratch things like a software monitor, assemblers, basic and
the likes. Their TDL Z80 macro assembler was the gold standard in those early days.
They had their own cassette
based basic and indeed with their Z80 CPU, RAM board and SMB board they had
a complete microcomputer system earlier than most. Its interesting to reflect
how things turned out. The very early on had a disk based system as well. Their
version of basic could have been what Microsoft basic turned out to be.
Nevertheless their products were well regarded and while the design of their Z80
CPU board left some things to be desired (capacitors for time delays) their System
Monitor Board was second to none for flexibility and functional density on one board
at that time.
They went on to make their own complete microcomputer. It was a small Blue Box and
made a name (publicity) for itself in being used to predict the election results
somewhere in NJ at the time. They also reorganized and changed the name to
Xitan. A number of the company members were active participants at the Amateur
Computer Group of NJ (ACGNJ). Not sure what happened the company in he end. They
briefly came out with a 32K Dynamic RAM board and then closed shop. Carl
Galletti and Roger Amidon did take the TDL software and recast the company
as Computer Design Labs selling the excellent TDL Z80 based software for a
number of years into the early 80's.
If anybody can add more I will enter it here for history.
This great little box was at the
time. It had an 8 slot motherboard with some basic circuitry on the board
for MWRT, Reset and input from a port.
TDL S-100 Boards
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