S100 Computers

Home S-100 Boards History New Boards Software Boards For Sale
Forum Other Web Sites News Index    
Seattle Computer Products -- History
  SCP Logo

Seattle computer products (SCP) was located on Industrial Drive, Seattle, WA., and was founded by Rod Brock in the mid 1970's. Initially they made S-100 memory boards employing local Seattle area high-school students to assemble them.  They were having problems with a 16K RAM board at one stage. Rob got to know a guy named Tim Paterson at a local retail computer store and asked him to fix the design, which he did quickly. Soon Rib hired Tim on board SCP to chart out board designs for the company.  He quickly laid out a few new RAM boards and then by chance attended a local seminar on the then new Intel 8086 chip.
He convinced Rob to let him do an S-100 8086 board. He had a layout done in January 1979 and and had two prototypes going by mid-year. Both Digital Research (CP/M) and Microsoft (who by this time had moved from Albuquerque to the Seattle area), were interested in moving their software to the board.  Tim with a guy at Microsoft called Bob O'Rear within a week or two had Microsoft's 32K basic working with the board. 

The board was first shown to the public at the 1979 National Computer Conference in New York. They showed off their standalone "Basic-86", then the only software for the 8086. It was a great hit at the show. SCP started shipping the product with its CPU card in November, primarily to software developers. 

Next Tim Paterson began work on a a badly needed 8086 disk operating system.   He was counting on Digital Research coming up with CP/M-86 but  there were delays.  This really limited their ability to sell the board -- even to developers.  In the spring of 1980, Tim started working on his own disk operating system which he originally called QDOS, (for Quick and Dirty DOS).

At the same time Microsoft was working with IBM in trying to place its Basic on a disk operating platform for the upcoming IBM-PC. The well known saga of the failure of CP/M and IBM to work together played out for CPM-86. Microsoft knowing about QDOS realized that it could be quickly, (and IBM issue), hammered into place as the IBM-PC's disk operating system to run their Basic and other programs. 

Microsoft bought the rights to market QDOS to other manufacturers for $25,000 in December 1980 relabeling the product "Microsoft DOS". Prior to the IBM-PC launch, Microsoft bought the full rights to the system for an additional $50,000.

Realizing that Microsoft was making a significant profit on the DOS operating system, SCP attempted to sell Seattle DOS with its S-100 8086 CPU board, (which was allowed as per the marketing agreement with Microsoft) in order to allow SCP to continue selling the operating system.  This operating system was marketed as "86-DOS", and the CPU was included in the box.  The target audience being OEM's.

In May 1981, Tim Peterson left SCP and joined Microsoft itself to work full time on "PC-DOS" getting it ready for the launch of the IBM-PC in August of that year.   Rob Brock(SCP) and Paul Allen (Microsoft) over the next year worked out a deal for Microsoft  to have total and complete ownership of 86-DOS.

In April 1982 Tim returned to SCP having gotten tired working with IBM in Boca Raton and its endless stream of bug reports, requests etc.  He still had 10% equity in SCP and was thus motivated to see it succeed. He had later left to set up his own company Falcon Technology (which was later bought by Microsoft).

SCP in the early 80's was expanding its portfolio of S-100 boards and went on to produce its own 8086 S-100 system the "Gazelle". This quite fancy system had a S-100 8086, 128K RAM, two 8" drives, a serial/parallel ports card and (unusual for the S-100 bus) a switching power supply.  It has an 18 slot S-100 motherboard.  It later had a hard disk controller and hard disk.

Like most S-100 companies however they could never overcome the IBM-PC momentum though the company lasted well into the 80's.

SCP Gazelle

Seattle Computer Products  S-100 Boards
8086 CPU   8086 Support Board   16K (24-101)RAM   16K (107A)RAM  16KRAM   64KRAM   Serial IO    DiskMaster


This page was last modified on 03/08/2014