Introduced:January 1979
Prices:US $4,900 - $8,990
Memory:48K dynamic RAM
Display:40x6 character plasma display
built-in printer
Storage:built-in floppy drive
internal bubble memory

Findex, Inc. was founded by Dan Nay, who was also the engineer, and his partner Michael Wurmbrand was the business and finance guy.

In January of 1979, Findex offered a line of general purpose microcomputer, including a BASIC operating system, bubble memory mass storage, built-in printer, and upper- and lower-case plasma display.

The computer came with a typewriter-like carrying case and optional battery pack of easy portability.

Each of the two major models of the line included 48K bytes of dynamic RAM and 1K bytes of static RAM, plus 8K bytes of ROM, expandable to 16K.

The Model 256 incorporated a 256K magnetic bubble memory as a non-volatile mass storage device, while the Model 180 contained a 180K floppy diskette in the case of the computer.

The built-in printer used the electrostatic matrix technique on aluminized paper. It could print 23 characters per line at 113 lines per minute.

The plasma display showed six lines of 40 characters, numeric and upper/lower case alpha, in a 5 by 7 dot matrix format.

Peripheral units can be interfaced to the Findex by means of serial and parallel I/O ports provided. These include printers, cassette recorders, or other Findex units.

Every Findex system could be expanded by adding other Findex units as interactive terminals. This would give each terminal in such a multi-unit system 49K RAM as scratch-pad.

Findex computers started at $4900, and were available through lease purchase arrangements starting at $150 per month.

In 1980, Findex unveiled their new systems, the Findex 100TD and 128TD.

Both systems featured up to 400K bytes of built-in floppy diskette storage or 128K bytes of non-volatile bubble memory mass storage.

They also included a Z80 MPU, and 80- to 132-column built-in plain paper printer, a 72-key keyboard, a flat gas plasma display, and four RS-232C ports.

However, only the 128TD has non-volatile expandable bubble memory, which could be boosted up to 2M bytes, while the 100TD has minifloppy disk drive storage.

The entire unit weighs about 31 lbs, and can be operated on an optional backup battery. The MPU contains a software interrupt settable and readable real-time clock, and 48K bytes of random-access memory. The unit also has 8K bytes of read-only memory expandable to 32K bytes.

Like earlier Filex systems, the plasma display can handle six rows of 40 or 80 characters each, numeric and upper/lower case alpha, and incorporate microprogrammable cursor and scroll protocols.

The unit can be interfaced to full-sized CRTs to display a greater amount of data.

The built-in printer operates at about 25 lines/minute, utilizes tractor and/or friction-feed mechanisms.

For communications, the computer has the four RS-232C serial I/O ports, one of which is also a teletypewriter connector. In addition, the system has 64 TTL parallel I/O lines, each of which can be used in an input or output mode.

An optional acoustic coupler can transmit information back to a central site at 300 bit/sec or higher transmission rates.

The systems use Digital Research, Inc's CP/M operating system, and can run the BASIC, COBOL, and Fortran languages.

Aimed at small- and medium-sized business that need a portable business computer system, the 100TD is prices at $5,980 and the 128TD at $8,990.

The additional 400K bytes of floppy disk storage costs $850 and extra 128K-byte buble memory modules are priced at about $3,000 each.

Findex, Inc. was originally located on West Olympic, in Los Angeles, CA, but eventually relocated to Torrance, CA.

The Computer museum at the University of Stuttgart, Germany has a Findex computer in their collection.

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