I didn't claim I proved anything anywhere??
Just pointing out that a Copyright doesn't guarantee a ship date..
Relax.. It's a discussion, not an argument..
If the manual shipped before that date it should have multiple copyright years in the copyright. i.e. © 1996, 1997
That is standard copyright procedure.
BTW, the SOL archive site states the following:
The Sol-20 was produced by the Processor Technology Corporation back in 1977-1979. About 10,000 of them were produced, some as kits, some as pre-built.
The site dedicated to the machine also says 1977.
After some reading, the SOL appears to just be an S100 system, and you'll find S100 dates to 1975. I think it's safe to ignore the site that says 1974 since the S100 design was published in Popular Electronics in 1975. S100 systems were pretty popular for the time so that probably means most of the programs (BASIC for example) were already written. Processor Technology Corporation just needed to provide it in a format the SOL could read along with minor changes for a SOL specific version. According to the advertisement on the SOL site, software was provided on cassette.
The SOL monitor source code on the site shows copyright 1977. The monitor (aka firmware) should be THE first app for the SOL as it has the tape interface code required to load other software. The tape standard used in that monitor code (CUTS) wasn't even published until an article in Popular Electronics in 1976... an article which is hosted on the SOL site. There is also a software/hardware catalog with a date of 1977 that lists the SOL with the comment "The new Sol-20 is unique. It's the first small computer designed as a complete system."
ALL the info backs up 1977 as the year of the SOL's release. The SOL was based on the S100 design (1975) but the actual SOL wasn't a commercial product until 1977. Which means you shouldn't believe everything these websites post since the people that run them clearly didn't spend much time researching the info. One looked up S100 and put it down for the date of the SOL and everyone has copied off of each other since then.
Did the SOL beat the Apple II, TRS-80, and PET? The catalog says "WINTER 1977" so it's hard to say. It was clearly in the running for the first all in one machine, at last if you don't require BASIC in ROM.
I did eventually find a "Personality Module" (monitor ROM) that says Copyright 1976, but that does not mean the machine was released then. The CUTS tape format is not mentioned in the code so tape formats *might* have changed after it's release or during further development. The date in the code is "10.11.76", pretty late in '76 for a release if the code was scanned from a manual since the manual would have had an even later release date. However, one manual preface says "Copyright 1976, 1977" so some sort of manual did exist in '76. The manual on the site was the third printing in June of '77. The machine *might* have been able to ship in '76 or the first run of manuals were printed then and it was released in early '77. I think the SOL definitely shipped before the Apple II, TRS-80, and PET. The first SOLs were probably kits. BASIC was clearly available for the SOL before June of '77.
Edited by JamesD, Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:52 PM.