Sphere 1

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Sphere I
Sphere Personal Computer Ad January 1976.jpg
1976 Sphere Computer Advertisement[1]
DeveloperMichael Donald Wise[2][3][4]
ManufacturerSphere Corporation[5][6]
Release date1975 (1975)
Introductory price860 US$ (Kit:Sphere 1)
Units sold1,300
Operating system"PDS" 1 KB Basic
CPUMotorola 6800
Memory4 KB of RAM (Expandable to 64 KB), 1KB PROM
Display16 lines x 32 characters, CRT Monitor
Inputkeyboard with a numeric keypad

The Sphere I was a personal computer completed in 1975 by Michael Donald Wise and Monroe Tyler of Sphere Corporation, of Bountiful, Utah.[9] The Sphere I featured a Motorola 6800 CPU, onboard ROM, a big monitor, 4 KB of RAM, and a keyboard with a numeric keypad. The Sphere I was among the earliest microcomputers.[10] Michael touted it as the first "true PC" because it had a keyboard, a number pad, a monitor, external storage, and did not run on a punch tape.[a] When Byte Magazine did its annual history of the computer, it always included Sphere 1, showing that prior microcomputers lacked the user I/O interface built into the Sphere I.

The Sphere 1 also included a keyboard-operated reset feature consisting of two keys wired in series that sent a reset signal to the CPU triggering a hard reboot. Wise considered this to be the first keyboard activated reset -- a predecessor to the now-common Control-Alt-Delete combination.[11][12]


  1. ^ By this point several machines matching this description were available, including the 1973 MCM/70, among others.


  1. ^ Byte Magazine, Volume 1 Issue 5, January 1976
  2. ^ Michael Donald "Mike" Wise (1949 - 2002), Find A Grave Memorial
  3. ^ "Splore - About:Michael D. Wise, the founder of Splor". Archived from the original on April 11, 2004. Retrieved 2017-07-11.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?25740-Sphere-1
  5. ^ sphere :: newsletter :: V1N1 Nov75, November 1975
  6. ^ sphere :: newsletter :: V1N2 Apr76, April 1976, Internet Archive
  7. ^ SOLOMON'S MEMORY, by Les Solomon, Digital Deli The Comprehensive, User-Lovable Menu of Computer Lore, Culture, Lifestyles and Fancy, by The Lunch Group & Guests, Edited by Steve Ditlea, published 1984, The 1977 First West Coast Computer Faire.... Outside the Brooks Hall site of the show was parked a small van containing Mike Wise and his unique computer from the Sphere Company located in Bountiful, Utah. The one thing we remember about the Sphere was that its BASIC was s-1-o-w. Real s-1-o-w! The Sphere computer was never seen again: it was advertised and a couple were even delivered to computer stores, but very soon Sphere vanished from the face of the earth-a fate shared by many other pioneering computer models.
  8. ^ The Sphere 1., by Early Computers Project, The Sphere Corporation put out a newsletter entitled, "Global News"
  9. ^ Sphere Advertisement (Page 94-95), Byte Magazine Volume 00 Number 01, Published September 1975, Internet Archive
  10. ^ The first decade of personal computing. By David H. Ahl, CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 10, NO. 11 / NOVEMBER 1984 / PAGE 30,You may think that the Apple II (1977) was the first integrated computer. Not so; the Sphere computer (1975) designed by Mike Wise contained the processor, keyboard, and display all in a case that looked very much like a Hazeltine terminal or TRS-80 Model III.
  11. ^ "Vintage Computer Festival - Featured Speaker". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  12. ^ Vintage Sphere Computer at the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum", 2013-03-10

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