[vcf-midatlantic] AES Plus 103 Word Processor Research

Bill Degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Mon May 31 04:02:49 UTC 2021

I wrote back (she contacted me directly earlier today)  Here is what I

That's what I have on it.  I owned the above- linked system briefly.  I
used to teach computer history at the u of del then.  I donated it to the
school after cleaning it up and taking the photos.  It had an intel 8080
microprocessor in the disk drive controller, which would indicate 1977/1978
as the
 approx year it was engineered. They would have sold them in my estimation
from about 1978-80+

Are you sure it was not also a general purpose computer or just a word
processor?  I bet it also had comms  terminal software and some basic ROM
command interface, plus a programmable epROM that could potentially allow
for BASIC or some other language capability.  Speculating here.

I dont remember but I am thinking it might have had an intel 8085
microprocessor for the main cpu sure similar to a likely competitor to the
103, the Raytheon vt302:

You are correct that the lanier 103 is a rebadged aes 103.

We disassembled the computer in a lab session but unfortunately I did not
take photos of the insides, or they never made it to vintagecomputer.net.
I had no software or manuals.

Here is another similar wordprocessor computer from the time, the sds 420
It also had drives with an intel 8080 cpu in addition to the majn cpu chip
(a MOS 6502)

The purpose of this era's "smart drives" with separate microprocessors was
to offload cpu load from the main computer.  Instructions would have been
sent to the drive from the main cpu, for things like formatting disks, and
the drive would take over using its 8080 to run machine instructions
independently while the main cpu would be free to do other tasks.

Good luck

On Sun, May 30, 2021, 6:31 PM ☼ wil lindsay ☼ via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Here's a lovely review of the machine by Jimmy Carter!
> https://www.nytimes.com/1981/03/24/arts/no-problem-machine-poses-a-presidential-problem.html
> Looks like Bill Degnan wrote about one at UDel a decade ago. Cool machine!
> On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 5:43 PM Jeffrey Brace via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> > A candaian researcher is looking for information on the AES Plus 103 word
> > processor which was developed in Montreal, Canada. It was released in the
> > US under the name: *Lanier No Problem* around 1978.
> >
> > If anyone has more info on the machine, please let me know.
> >
> > She had referenced this VCF forum article:
> >
> >
> https://www.vcfed.org/forum/forum/genres/other/46863-lanier-model-103-no-problem-word-processor
> >
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > =========================================
> > Jeff Brace
> > Vice President & Board Member
> > Vintage Computer Festival East Show-runner
> > Vintage Computer Federation is a 501c3 charity
> > http://www.vcfed.org/
> > jeffrey at vcfed.org
> >

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