Sord Computer Corporation

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Sord Computer Corporation
Industry Peripherals
Founder Takayoshi Shiina
Headquarters Chiba, Japan
Products Peripherals
Number of employees
Website TOPS

Sord Computer Corporation was a Japanese electronics company, founded in 1970 by the entrepreneur Takayoshi Shiina.[2]


SORD Computer Corporation The information on this page is based on information at the Toshiba-TOPS history page, an interview with Shiina-san from 1994 and independent information. As with everything else on this site I would value any contributions or corrections. SORD was founded by Takayohi Shiina in 1970 when he was 26 years old. Initially the company wrote software for the Digital PDP series of microcomputers, but later on in he 1970's branched out into hardware production. The name SORD is a contraction of SOftware/haRDware, reflecting the dual focus of the company. In 1977 SORD released the M200, one of the first microcomputers in Japan. This was followed by the M100 and various other versions of the M100/M200 series, plus the multi-user M223 and M243 computers. The SORD M23 followed in 1981 and become one of the most popular SORD computers. It was one of the first to see significant use outside Japan. The M68, a curious dual 8/16 bit computer using both 68000 and Z80A CPUs, was releaased in Japan in 1983. On the software side, PIPS - Personal (or Pan) Information Processing System was released in 1980. This package was 'not quite' a spreadsheet in the Visicalc/123 sense of the term, and 'not quite' a database, but combined features of both into an easy to understand business package. This was followed by PIPS-II in 1981, PIPS-III in 1982 and a complete rewrite (by a team led by kiwi Peter Hyde) as 4G-PIPS in 1986. Unfortunately Japanese business culture does not look kindly on the entrepreneur. Shiina-san was approached by a larger Japanese corporation in 1983 and advised to sell. He didn't - and in 1984, on the back of turnover of 35 billion yen and profit of 2 billion yen SORD found itself struggling with suppliers and the banks. SORD was sold to Toshiba in 1985 (Toshiba had no part in the problems from 1983). Under Toshiba, SORD went on to produce additional hardware such as the M68MX (with no Z80A) and M343SX-II multi-user computer and new versions of PIPS, a series of high performance IBM compatible machines and systems based on Alpha but now SORD (known as Toshiba-TOPS) primarily deals with embedded systems.

In the 1980s, some of the Sord produced business-focused computers, including:

  • Sord M223 series, 1980[3]
  • Sord M68 was a fantastic machine with the best hardware at the time and flexible enough to "go down" and use software that was standard in the Z80 and CP/M. The diskettes were the best at the time with possibility of using the 8´´ and the 5,25´´ both low density and high density. The missing compilers at the time for the Motorolla 68000 have in practice reduced the hability to produce software for it. Should the compilers exist the machine could be a server.
  • Sord M23P (1983), luggable
  • Sord IS-11 (1984) notebook

Sord also produced 8-bit home computers such as the Sord M5).[4]


  1. ^ TOPS - Corporate Profile (2009)
  2. ^ David H. Ahl (June 1984). "Sord IS-11 notebook computer". Creative Computing. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Sord M223 series",
  4. ^ "Toshiba Finds Profit in WebFOCUS" (PDF). Information Builders. 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 

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