Talk:Micral

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Untitled[edit]

Apparently, Philippe Kahn never was in litigation with Truong. Kahn seemed to always have treated Truong as a respected elder. I is other members of the Micral team that apparently entered litigation. 75.209.210.3 07:44, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

MICRAL SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT - Early years - 1973/1975[edit]

I knows very well years from 1973 to 1980 because and begining period of micro-computing (8008-8080-8085-Z80-6800, ...). On 1973, I have been the second customer to buy MICRAL (6 units for 230 000 F) and I have been waiting for the first prototype to be ready ... for some few months. I never met M Philippe Kahn (Borland) during this period. The software has been writen by M Benchetrit who suddenly died on 1975. In fact at this period M KAHN was a mathematics teacher and was unable to write any program in assembly language ! ... I used MICRAL to design test equipments from 1973 to 1980 and write many program in assembly language and owns some pictures to demonstrate that I'am right ... I met many times Philippe Kahn, later this period on 1980 (one day long in France) and in Las Vegas (on 1981 or 1982) and it will be fair to correct wrong affirmations for the thruth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Klebar59 (talkcontribs) 07:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

This article [The Big Picture] says "...in France, Kahn worked on Pascal under Niklaus Wirth in Zurich and was a programmer for the Intel-based Micral,...". It's unclear whether he worked on writing a Pascal compiler or wrote programs using one, and whether he worked for the company that developed the Micral or simply bought one (or worked for someone who bought one) and wrote programs for it. But someone "receiving the equivalent of a PhD in mathematics" (or merely a masters) should certainly be capable of writing compilers and programming in assembly. It would be nice to find a source that addressed this question with more than a single sentence. James Wallace was going to write a book on him, but ended up with a second book on Bill Gates instead. In Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace, on page 241 Wallace writes about Kahn's background in France: die-hard socialist father, mother an Auschwitz survivor, promising math student with a passion for music who dropped out of university in Zurich after reading Walden and disappeared into the Pyrenees to tend goats, practice music and contemplate his future. A year later he came down from the mountains to teach math. Bought an Apple II (now we're past the prime of the Micral), moved to California in 1982 at age 30, with a tourist visa, karate black belt and $5,000 borrowed from his dad to be a part of the PC revolution, leaving wife and two daughters back home at an artists' colony in south France. No mention of Micral. You would think that would be notable. Traf-O-Data is certainly a notable event in Gates & Allen's background... Wbm1058 (talk) 20:14, 30 July 2011 (UTC) updated Wbm1058 (talk) 14:19, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Micral or MCM/70?[edit]

Both of these machines were apparently released in 1973. CHM gives precedence to Micral, but fails to mention the MCM. IEEE gives precedence to MCM. Can we clarify? Maury Markowitz (talk) 15:08, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I have answered my own question. Although both efforts started at about the same time, the Micral definitely shipped first. The MCM/70 production versions didn't ship until mid-to-late 1974, according to Zbigniew Stachniak. Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:33, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

The date seems wrong[edit]

This article states that the machine's design was completed in December 1972, and started shipping in February 1973. I do not think this is possible. Sample quantities of the 8008 did not ship until April 1973, according to many references that state this. Does anyone have a references stating that the 8008 shipped in any sort of production quantities before this date? Maury Markowitz (talk) 14:24, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia itself, the Intel 8008 was "introduced in April 1972". Intel "put it in their catalog in April 1972 priced at $120." Seems plenty of time between April and December to get it designed... This article says Micral development started in June... don't confuse the processor with its successor Intel 8080 - Wbm1058 (talk) 20:14, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Comparison with PDP-8[edit]

How about the statement ″Indeed, INRA was originally planning to use PDP-8 computers for process control, but the Micral N could do the same for a fifth of the cost."? The Intel 8008 can calculate about 0.036 to 0.08 MIPS (8-bit), while the PDP-8 does 0.333 MIPS (12-bit). Maybe it turned out this computing power was sufficient for the intended project, but I doubt this comparison is true in absolute terms. --Wosch21149 (talk) 22:26, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Microcomputer[edit]

We need to get our history straight. The Computer Museum Report has the wrong date for the Electronics magazine issue. It was not in the June 21, 1973 issue, rather it was in the previous biweekly issue, June 7. However, that refers to an earlier article in the March 1 issue which could be checked to see if it mentions the term. Intel actually used the term earlier for its Intellec machines which it called microcomputer development systems. Those were never marketed as "personal computers", just as development systems for programming programmable chips. So the Intellec may be the first microcomputer, while the Micral is the first personal computer using a microprocessor. We also need to sync with the story told by the microcomputer article. – wbm1058 (talk) 03:43, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

This is interesting. A June 1973 Master's thesis by students of Gary Kildall at the Naval Postgraduate School. They describe a microcomputer solution for naval ships' maneuvering board. A specific application, as the Micral's solution for process control in crop evapotranspiration measurements. But this was about four months after the commercial release of the Micral, and I don't know it was ever commercialized. wbm1058 (talk) 15:47, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

This ad for the Intel 4004 represents the Intel 4004 product announcement. The first public mention of 4004 was this advertisement in the November 15, 1971 edition of Electronic News. It announced "the MCS-4 micro computer system" (two words "micro computer"). They called the 4004 an integrated CPU rather than a microprocessor an used the term micro in the sense of micro-program rather than the size of the processor. Clearly there couldn't be an earlier use of "micro computer" than the announcement of the first microprocessor (other than in science fiction or theory). Perhaps the June 7, 1973 Electronics is the first time the two words became a single compound word. Whether that small difference is significant would be a matter of opinion I suppose.

I haven't found an announcement of the release of the Intellec. The SIM4-02 Hardware Simulator (December 1972), SIM4-03 Prototyping System (April 1973) and MCB4·20 System Interconnect and Control Module seem to predate the first Intellec, which may have appeared in January 1974. Revision 1 of the Intellec 8 reference manual is dated June 1974 (0674 on the bottom of the back cover).

But of course the Micral was based on the 8008, not the 4004. Wow, this is an interesting video! He says that the Intel SIM8-01 was the first commercially available 8-bit microcomputer which became a blueprint for the design of the first generation of general-purpose microcomputers. The SIM8-01 was announced in April 1972 (when the Intel 8008 was announced) and shipped in late May/June 1972. The Micral development started in June 1972, surely just after R2E got their copy of the SIM8-01. So both the computer shown in this video and the Micral would have been developed in that magic period between June and November 1972 when Intel released the MCB8-10, the predecessor of the later Intellec machines' motherboards. Hey, the followup video! The computer was built by the Univac Research & Development Division in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1972.– wbm1058 (talk) 13:56, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

Appears that by November 1973 Intel had created a nice case to put a stripped-down version of the MCB8-10 inside, and called the complete case-enclosed system the Intellec. Old Computer Museum The "panel" on the MCB8-10 became a real front panel on the Intellec 8. – wbm1058 (talk) 14:26, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
Intel SIM8-01: A Proto-PC, by Zbigniew Stachniak. This article traces the SIM8-01's development at Intel and analyzes its impact on the formation of the first wave of worldwide microcomputer activities. – wbm1058 (talk) 14:40, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
Inventing the PC: The MCM/70 Story, about the development of the MCM/70; same time-period as the Micral N. – wbm1058 (talk) 16:24, 21 August 2017 (UTC)