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Intertec Data Systems Corp.
I know very little about Intertec as a company, apparently before scoring it big with the Superbrain they made teletype terminals called Superterms. In late 1979 they launched the Superbrain though, a fantastically futuristic looking beast of a machine that came with 64K RAM (though some early boards only had 32K), twin 48TPI 170k 5.25" floppy drives, TWO (yes, 2) Z80 CPUs running at 4MHz and two serial ports. The 2nd Z80 was only used for disk access though, but that didn't stop the adverts touting a twin processor machine.
Operating system wise the Superbrain ran CP/M 2.2 or ZCPR3 which gave it access to the fairly large CP/M software market, and it was advertised as a terminal too with emulators for the VT52 and ADM3a amongst others. The HJKL keys even featured the ADM3A cursors. All the main printer manufacturers of the day were supported too - QUME, C.ITOH, NEC Spinwriter etc.
Not long after launch the QD series was launched featuring 48TPI DSDD floppies at 360k, and there was also an SD variant with 96TPI DSHD drives. Intertec were sly with the marketing because QD (quad density) was purely their own term for Double Density, and SD (super density) was their version of 1.2MB High Density. Standard DSDD disks were fine with the machines.
Expansion-wise there wasn't a lot on offer, just a centronics port and S100 bus adapter which connected to the Z80 bus extender on the main board and allowed a single S100 board to be used - this fastened to the side of the floppy enclosure. Later on internal hard drive options appeared in 5MB and 10MB sizes, and externally there was a Compustar hard drive unit available.
The Superbrain is perhaps best known for being the first client of Columbia University's 'Kermit' file transfer utility. Columbia had space issues with their Digital DEC 20 and IBM mainframes so needed a solution to allow students to download their work to a floppy or two and take home. I won't go into Kermit history as it's been well covered elsewhere, but in April 1981 the first transfer was done and Kermit went on to become the file transfer protocol of choice for pretty much everyone including me.
For whatever reason though, Intertec were very much a 'boom/bust' company and had all but disappeared by the mid 1980s.
Superbrain - 64k machine upgraded to QD specs.
Superbrain II QD - with 'Philips Engineering sample' green phosphor monitor.
Related Links
Notes on setting up Kermit for the Superbrain

All images and text © Adrian Graham 1999-2024 unless otherwise noted using words. Also on