North Star Advantage

North Star Advantage Computer

Integrated Desk Top Computer with 12 inch Bit-Mapped Graphics or Character Display, 64Kb RAM, 4 MHz Z80A Two Quad Capacity Floppy Disk Drives, Selectric® Style 87 Key Keyboard, Business Graphics Software.

The North Star ADVANTAGE™ is an interactive integrated graphics computer supplying the single user with a balanced set of Business-Data, Word, or Scientific-Data processing capabilities along with both character and graphics output. ADVANTAGE is fully supported by North Star’s wide range of System and Application Software.

The ADVANTAGE contains a 4 MHz Z80A® CPU with 64Kb of 200 nsec Dynamic RAM (with parity) for program storage, a separate 20Kb 200 nsec RAM to drive the bit­ mapped display, a 2Kb bootstrap PROM and an auxiliary Intel 8035 microprocessor to control the keyboard and floppy disks. The display can be operated as a 1920

(24 lines by 80 characters) character display or as a bit-mapped display (240×640 pixels), where each pixel is controlled by one bit in the 20Kb display RAM. The

two integrated 5% inch floppy disks are double-sided, double-density providing storage of 360Kb per drive for a total of 720Kb. The n-key rollover Selectric style key­board contains 49 standard typewriter keys, 9 symbol or control keys, a 14 key numeric/cursor control pad and 15 user programmable function keys.         .

The attractive desk top chassis contains six slots for plug-in option cards: a parallel interface for printer or other parallel devices, a serial (RS-232C) port or a North Star Floating Point Board (FPB) for substantial compu­tational performance increase. Sufficient power (HSY or 230V, 60 or 50 Hz) is also contained within the light weight chassis.

North Star included a software application called, “Image Maker” which allowed the creation of graphics. The graphics could be inserted into, “Slide maker” which played out the images in sequential order. Juan Rivera used this software to document his construction project on a New Van for KRON-TV in San Francisco.

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