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The Mindset was sold around spring of 1984 as a high-end graphics workstation which was somewhat PC compatible. Based on Intel's 80186, it had proprietary VLSI chips that enhanced and sped up the graphics. It also had dual front-mounted ROM cartridge ports which had a unique locking knob on the left side of the main computer module to lock the ROM modules into place. The Mindset had the option (through its System Configuration Utility) to be able to select whether the system booted from Left or Right ROM carts, or Disk Drive.
A dual 5.25 floppy drive module that sat above the main unit was available and part of the common sales configuration for the system. The module also included Expansion memory as well.
Mindset's design was modular in many aspects. The top of the case had an opening to access its systems bus, this allowed for the expansion module to plug into the main computer module to add memory and one or two disk drives. The Mindset was designed by several ex-Atari engineers like the Amiga 1000, another computer of the era with an advanced graphics subsystem and modular expandability. Jack Tramiel (forming TTL - Tramiel Technologies Limited) tried to buy Mindset's technology in Spring of 1984.
While released in 1984, models of the M1001 Mindset computer with BIOS ROM code 1.07 and earlier show a copyright notice of (c) 1983 Mindset Computer Corp.
The Base System Unit was referred to as Model M1001, later a "Mindset II" computer was released, basically the same exact case as the Mindset M1001, just with an adhesive label designating "II" under the embossed name. Internally the Video Processor Board is a separate mini-daughterboard. Its enhanced functionality is not totally understood - but from the "Mindset II Advanced Professional Videographics System" users guide it makes mention "Chaining" Two Mindset's:
"It is possible to genlock any Mindset System to a Mindset II. In such a case, the composite video output of one Mindset is used as an external video source for the Video Production Module connected to the Mindset II. It is very important that the Mindset System being used as a video source be set in the interlaced mode. Otherwise, vertical locking will not occur.
The Mindset II is referred to on the front of the user guide as Model# M1500, however other internal pages reference is an M1000-II and also make mention of Mindset Video Production Module Model# M1011.
The rear of the computer is equipped with the following ports:
- Audio Left
- Composite Out
- Channel 3/4 Select Switch
- RGB Video
- EXT Sync
- Aux In
- Aux Out
The rear of the main computer module also has 3 36 Pin Expansion bus slots.
The Dual Disk/Memory Expansion Unit adds an additional 3 36 Pin Expansion bus slots to the system.
- Dual Disk Drive / Memory Expansion Module
(Note: While no noticeable internal or external differences, some Dual Disk Drive/Memory Expansion modules are marked Model # M1003 and others have been found to be marked M1004)
- Parallel "Cartridge Module"
- Serial "Cartridge Module"
- Modem "Cartridge Module"
- 128K Memory "Cartridge Module"
- Hard Drive System, consisting of an Interface "Cartridge Module" and HD loader on NVRAM cartridge
- Analog joystick
- Touch Tablet
- Video Fader