Personal Computers

C. Gordon Bell is considered by most as the father of distributed processing and the minicomputer. Gordon is also one of the founders of The Computer Museum in Boston, MA (, which is now the Computer History Museum in Mt. View, CA ( The idea for this timeline was created by Gordon, Sheridan Sinclaire-Bell, and Gordon's assistant, Victoria Rozycki. Vicki also researched and populated the entries. The intent of the timeline was to provide a one-stop-shop for access to historical information on the fascinating birth and growth of the personal computer industry. Sources used to create the timeline were found on the Internet. ;xNLx;

Sphere I

The Sphere contributed to both the specs and design of future generations of hardware.

GridCase 1, 2, 3, 4, 3 Plus

These systems were quite sturdy and most of them were used for military applications.

PeCos One

A "Compact Home Computer", the PeCos One (an acronym for Personal Computing System) was a self-contained unit with two built-in tape drives and an external monitor. Its main language is PeCos I, a derivative of Rand Corporation's JOSS language.

PolyMorphic System 8813, 8810

PolyMorphic's disk-based system. The System 8813 had as many as three floppy disk drives, each holding 90K bytes, about the equivalent of a three-page PDF file today.

Zenith Z-138/148/171/200

More 1985 offerings from ZDS included a 24-pound transportable with built in 7" amber display, an entry level system for home, office, and school, and an IBM PC AT compatible.

Zenith Z-181, Z-181-93, Z-183

Clamshell PC compatible

Zenith Z-151, Z-158

A "lunchbox" portable computer.

Zenith 100/110/120

The sale of the Zenith 100 series focused on large customers, such as companies, universities, and government agencies. In fiscal 1984, ZDS sold 16% of the 37,000 computers the United States government purchased, second to IBM's 27%. By 1985 was the second-largest PC-compatible company after Compaq.

HP 9835 series A/B

A lower-cost version of the HP 9845 computers.

Heath/Zenith H88, H89, WH89, Z-89

"All-in-one" computer system available as both a kit to be assembled by the purchaser, or as an assembled and tested system.

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