Datamax Computer Systems was an Australian computer manufacturer operating from Manly, Sydney during the 1980’s.
A Datamax 8000 was the first computer we had at our house. It was a massive machine that commanded/demanded two 8 inch floppy disks and was interfaced through a terminal connected to a serial port. Our family was really productive on this system. With a printer, Wordstar and other applications, Dad managed his business and mum and I used it for our school and uni work. We also had a 300 bps modem and I spent hours calling bulletin boards and learning how to get computers connected to each other and transferring data.
I thought I’d start this post to commemorate this Australian computer manufacturer that was based in a very popular beachside suburb and also 30km from my house. Please post any stories or references to this company and its products.
- Datamax Computer Systems
- 34-40 Central Avenue, Manly, NSW
- Early 80’s
- Founded by Mr Chin Kwong
The best and most recent reference is the Datamax 8000 Repository at the Microbee Software Preservation Project
- CPU: Z80 @4MHz (??)
- Memory: 64KB RAM
- Storage: two 8inch floppy drives
- Operating System: CP/M
- serial connected terminal
- additional serial port for modem
- printer port
Photos from flickr:
- Multi-user (1-10 terminals)
- 80186 CPU
- 512KB RAM, expandable to 1MB
Screenshots from Your Computer Australia December 1985:
There’s a press release article on page 91 of this pdf
ETI Australia October 1981
Retail price $6000
Thank you so much for sharing Josh! Hope to see you back at ACMS soon!
I remember using CP/M on my Amstrad as a kid, although all I could do with it was run LOGO.
I thought the Datamax looked like a nice little machine until I realised those were 8-inch drives. It must have been quite a weighty unit!
Thanks for the lead. I had a broader search around https://worldradiohistory.com/ and came up with a full-page ad for the Datamax 8000 from the previous month… and priced “under $4500”:
ETI Australia September 1981 magazine pdf
The other article I found comes from January 1988 and introduces us to a new Datamax product: DECATASK. Rather than manufacturing the whole computer system, this is a serial multiplexer expansion card that installs into an MS-DOS system. Probably an ISA expansion card.
Looking back, it seems to me, there was no way they could have sustained being competitive at manufacturing whole computers and the ecosystem was anyhow standardising on x86 and MS-DOS. I guess they would also have had UNIX as a competitor. This product looks like Datamax adapting.
I wonder if the man in the photo is the company’s founder, Mr Chin Kwong, proudly presenting his new expansion card?
ETI Australia January 1988 magazine pdf
There is a typo in the company name in the first paragraph. The rest of the references get it correct and the phone number given at the end matches other Datamax phone numbers.