I am late getting to these so voluminous threads on Kaypros and CP/M,
since I was very busy on many other projects in retirement.
But can add my ? two  cents from the extensive info I have, if you are
I was surprised I did not find a reference to _WWW.VINTAGE-COMPUTER.COM_
) site in these posts.
A lot of what these threads presented have already been exhaustively
explored on that site. In fact we have a very extensive ? knowledgebase on
Kaypros? we developed there.
As far as selling Kaypros, you are right, certainly less than $100, some
for only shipping, since they weigh almost 30 pounds because of the metal
case and many for free + many just going to the dumpster.
That site has a ?free? [what a nice ?F? four letter word !] marketplace
for sales / buying a lot of vintage items.
I think eBay does not hit the specific ?target group? for vintage
computers like this site does. But you get a lot of global exposure sure + scams
that would be quickly exposed on the vintage site..
You just can do a search of that site for a great deal of specific
information on so many related topics.
Comparing vintage computers to modern ones may be like comparing the ever
so popular Ford Model T?s for the commodity market at that time to modern
I have a free download of just a ? draft ? of my extensive book on the
early vintage computer era, including Osborne, Kaypro, etc. and many related
My presentation at the 2008 Trenton Computer Festival is based on that
book and is on their Festival CD.
If you want to use just ? sales ? for determining the best, no other
computer is even close for the market segment the Kaypro was specifically
designed for ? very large common market personal, portable computer ?complete ?
- all you needed right out of the box, including software, for a
reasonable price ? ?the ordinary computer user ? ? a commodity product.
There were many others, but much smaller, less popular and did not last
Simply, the issue was ?hypergrowth? that is the title of Osborne?s book.
Production for both very popular Ocbornes and Kaypros was one shipped
every 5 - minutes ? many already paid for and long backlogged !
CP/M was ?the? system at that time, until Gates came along.
The real big factor was Compaq ?legally cloning? the IBM system,
including the ever so important operating system.
Briefly, in the last year before bankruptcy, despite their incredible best
efforts, Kaypro lost 89% of their sales and Compaq set a record of $12
million profit of any computer company at that time.
Game over ! A new era of computing took off ? I use the image of the?
relay race ? ? passing the baton of success to the next better competitor.
? Very bitter memories ?s of such times for many ! But little could be
Lifespan of many sci ? tech companies is just very short as better
products by others continue to evolve ? e.g. evolution ? survival of the fittest
Kaypro / Non - Linear Systems [NLS] were very well run / well known
international companies, that also provided electronic instruments even to the
military & meeting their so very strict standards..
We continue to discover many incredible Kaypros in countries around the
specific country names are even on the back panel - how about the German
Kaypro with German language on the Kaypro screen ! Many stories to tell.
The all metal, practical & well designed case is one reason Kaypros are
still around.. You can even stand on them ! The basic case design did not
change very much thru all their CP/M models.
This is all part of many patterns of my decades of STS ? NSF research
[Science, Technology & Society ? National Science Foundation partial
We are seeing it so dramatically today in so many global ways ? HP, Dell,
Lenovo, IBM, Mircrosoft, Apple, etc .just in computing alone. A great time
of ferment / change, etc. !
Very expected & predictable.
The issues are simply better understanding and managing the process, so
you can apply it to your everyday lives.
Eventually as downsizing / cleaning out in retirement of a very
successful, productive, wide ranging career [ never could have ever dreamed of !], my
six  Kaypro ?8?s ? will be put up for auction as ?packages? with much
extra parts, software, accessories, etc.
Whatever they bring, that is the then ?fair market value? ? at least they
will not go to the dumpster.
I will well promote these auctions so all seriously interested can bid.
Best might be a
? group ? who would then just ? part them out ? for those seriously
interested. I do not have the time with all my STS-NSF research.
So all the best in your continued vintage computing exploration.
Post as GADFRAN on above web site.
Just do your own research and post it for the benefit of us all !
There is no ? one ? right answer, but many depending on many factors to
such complex issues with so many ?tradeoff? that depend on so many other
In a message dated 8/25/2012 9:18:55 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
ajp166 at verizon.net
On 08/25/2012 05:22 AM, Rick Murphy wrote:
At 11:14 AM 8/24/2012, Allison wrote:
David Gesswein wrote:
On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:21:57PM -0400,
Unlike many when CP/M came about in the mid 70s
with OS/8 and TOPS-10 and wished that CP/M was more.
I haven't used CP/M. What was the significant items that were better
about OS/8 than CP/M? I had thought they were similar in capability
(and even shared some command names).
The biggest difference was OS/8 was multi-task/multi-user.
OS/8 on the DEC PDP-8 was most definitely single-task, single-user.
There were other PDP-8 operating systems such as TSS-8 (EDUsystem-50)
which were multi-task/multi-user, as well as time-sharing systems that
You may be thinking about the fact that OS/8 could be run as a
background job as part of RTS-8.
Indeed it can and also under TSS-8.
existed and was more powerful than CP/M years earlier on
a CPU (PDP-8) that was more primitive.
I don't know how anyone could call OS/8 more powerful than CP/M. OS/8
was a very, very simple system.
So Is CP/M.
OS/8 does just a few things: it allows you to
read/write files, has a
command decoder, and a keyboard monitor (command line). It has no
services for critical things like console terminal input/output, has a
rudimentary file system, and basically doesn't do much.
And the difference is?
Now, if you replace the "OS/8" above with
"RT-11" I'd be in agreement.
RT11 I could consider that almost true. Save for the file system is
actually more primitive
as it cannot do scatter gather and CP/M does. A partially used RT11
disk with deleted files
needs to be compacted to get back the large contiguous spaces same as
But it does many other things very nicely.