Introduced:January 1979
Prices:US $4,980+
Weight:20 pounds
CPU:Zilog Z80 @ 2.5MHz
Memory:48K dynamic RAM
Display:40x6 text plasma display
built-in thermal printer
Storage:built-in 180K floppy drive
optional bubble memory
Ports:parallel, 2-4 serial ports

In January of 1979, Findex, Inc. introduced a line of general purpose microcomputers, including a BASIC operating system, optional bubble memory mass storage, built-in printer, and 40x6 character plasma display.

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

The Findex computer was based on an earlier invention of Dan Nay - the STACKBD microcomputer system.
Seen here to the right, the STACKBD concept was similar to the standard S-100 bus scheme, in which individual circuit board fulfill a specific function, except that the STACKBD circuit boards occupy about 1/4 the space of the larger S-100 PCBs. STACKBD required no motherboard - all of the PCBs plug into each other - the board position and order is arbitrary.

The Findex contains everything needed for a fully-functional stand-alone computer system - a full-size keyboard, 40x6 upper/lower-case orange plasma display, built-in floppy drive, and a thermal printer, making it one of the first-ever portable computer systems available.

The Findex runs the popular CP/M operating system from Digital Research. It also supports BASIC, COBOL, and Fortran programming languages.

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

Download Findex flyers and price guides (7MB PDF document).

Each of the two models includes 48K bytes of dynamic RAM and 1K bytes of static RAM, plus 8K bytes of ROM, expandable to 16K.
The System 100 ($4,980) incorporates a 180K single-sided single-density (SSSD) hard-sector floppy drive in the case of the computer.
The System 128 ($8,230) replaces the floppy drive with a 128K magnetic bubble memory as a non-volatile mass storage device. This adds $3,000 to the price of the system.

For communications, the Findex has two to 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.

Every Findex system can 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.

Later models of the Findex replaced the narrow thermal printer with a larger 80- to 132-column plain paper printer, which operates at about 25 lines/minute, but now this system weighs 30 pounds - 10 more than before.

System 234 has a built-in 400KB hard-sector mini-floppy drive, while System 256 replaces the floppy drive with an internal 256KB non-volatile bubble-memory card.

Even though each and every portable Findex computer has a built-in carrying handle, you could also purchase an offical Findex padded carrying case to protect your system while in transit or in storage.

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

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