Our Microcomputer History from the 1970's & 80's


IMSAI 8080

1975

Apple II

1977

Commodore
Pet 2001

1977

NorthStar Horizon

1977

Vector Graphic

1977

Osborne 1

1981


Aug. 28-29, 1976 - PC76 - Personal Computing Consumer Trade Fair, Atlantic City, NJ
This was the very first national Personal Computer show. This is where Cathy and I had a booth and first unveiled Computer Enterprises, our mail order microcomputer business, to the world. They expected 500 attendees and 5,000 showed up! For virtually the entire time on both days, we had a line at our booth and could not talk to people fast enough. We sold out our entire inventory of about 6 IMSAI 8080 computer kits, which came in a huge box of parts weighing about 50 pounds. The IMSAI 8080 computer was featured in the 1983 movie, "War games" with Matthew Broderick.

Also, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had a booth just down the row from us where they unveiled the Apple I for the first time.



Nov. 1976 - Byte Magazine
Computer Enterprises first national ad in Byte Magazine : "microcomputers - Computers for People - IMSAI 8080"

Feb. 28, 1977 - New York Department of State, Division of Corporations
Incorporation of Computer Systems Distributors, Inc.
(by Joe R. Luciano)

Feb. 1977 - Byte Magazine
Computer Enterprises ad in Byte Magazine : "Looking for...?"

Mar. 18, 1977 - New York Department of State, Division of Corporations
Incorporation of Computer Shop of Syracuse, Inc.
(by partners: Joe R. Luciano and Ben Aulde)

April 1, 1977 - United States Patent and Trademark Office
Computer Enterprises Trademark
Filed and originally owned by Computer Systems Distributors, Inc. (owned by Joe R. Luciano)

April 1977 - Kilobaud Magazine
Computer Enterprises first ad in Kilobaud Magazine issue #4: "Computer Enterprises - Your Mailorder Computer Shop..."

Sep. 28, 1977 - Marcellus NY Weekly Observer
"This Computer Holds Our Marriage Together" ad by Computer Shop of Syracuse

Oct. 3, 1977 - ComputerWorld Newspaper
Computer Enterprises announces first "Computerlogue '77"

August 2015 - siamman.com
Someone is actually selling a couple of our original - Computer Enterprises catalogs,
"Computerlogue '77" as a collectible

Items A50-D & A50-D2
- Note: scroll down page to item A50-D

Oct. 1977 - Byte Magazine
Computer Enterprises ad: "As Computer Enterprises Enters Their Second Year"

Oct. 12, 1977 - Eagle Bulletin, DeWitt NY News-Times
"This Computer Keeps Me Close To My Son" ad by Computer Shop of Syracuse

Nov. 30, 1977 - Eagle Bulletin, DeWitt News-Times
"Santa & the Christmas Computer" ad by Computer Shop of Syracuse

January 4, 1978 - Marcellus, NY Weekly Press Observer
Image of Joe R. Luciano promoting computer art exhibit at Computer Shop of Syracuse

March 1978 - Byte Magazine
Computer Enterprises ad: "!EXTRA! High Prices Byte the Dust"

Jan 1979 - Byte Magazine

Computer Enterprises ad: "Computerlogue '78"


Apr 1979 - Creative Computing Magazine
Computer Enterprises ads: "Media BlitzII" & "Computerlogue '78"

Dec. 3, 1979 - Syracuse Post-Standard
"FREE - Books Are Gifts..." ad by Computer Shop of Syracuse

Late 1980 - Transitions
In late 1980 / early 1981, times were tough. The prime interest rate was 20%!! Although the businesses could grow more, we did not have the capital to make it happen and loans were prohibitive. So, we transitioned Computer Enterprises to only selling media (mostly floppy disks) via mailorder and sold Computer Shop of Syracuse to Carrols Development Corp., a local Syracuse company that had a chain of Burger King Restaurants in Central New York. I became Director of Product Planning for their newly formed Omnifax Computer Stores and established the model store in Syracuse. Later through acquisitions of other struggling computer stores in New Jersey, the Omnifax Computer Stores chain was started and grew to 5 stores (mostly in the Philadelphia area) with the hopes of developing it into a large nationwide franchise, but that never happened.

Oct. 31, 1980 - Syracuse Post-Standard
"Omnifax Grand Opening" ad (Note: scroll down the page)

Mar. 4, 1981 - Syracuse Herald-Journal

I was selected as "Data Processing Person of the Year" of the Syracuse Chapters of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), ASM (Association of Systems Management) and DPMA (Data Processing Management Association).

August 7, 1981 - Syracuse Herald-Journal
Carrols Development Corp. sold all the Omnifax Computer Stores. (Note: scroll down page)

Late 1981 - Transition
I joined a new startup company in Syracuse, ISM (International Software Marketing, Inc.) as a software and product developer.

Feb-Mar 1982 - Charter Issue of PC Magazine
Full-page ad for MatheMagic by ISM (International Software Marketing)
Review Article - "MatheMagic A Reverse Twist: Turning Your Computer into a Programmable Calculator" - NOTE: scroll down page to article

Jan 13, 1983 - InfoWorld Magazine
Software Review - "MatheMagic for CP/M-Based Micros simplifies calculations"
"ISM Responds to MatheMagic Review"


Other References

Byte Magazine Archive

Kilobaud Magazine Archive

The Altair 8800
The Altair 8800 Computer Kit featured on the cover of Popular Electronics, January 1975 issue.
This is what started the Microcomputer (later Personal Computer) craze:
           
     

The IMSAI 8080
The IMSAI 8080 was the first product sold by Computer Enterprises as an IMSAI distributor. The IMSAI came as a kit of literally thousands of parts in a box about 3 ft.x3 ft.x2 ft., weighing about 50 pounds. The customer had to assemble all the parts and solder all the electronic components, and then hope it all worked. We also offered an assembly service for an extra fee.

We later went on, along with Computer Shop of Syracuse, to carry and sell just about every major brand of microcomputer, including: Apple, Commodore, Cromemco, Northstar, Osborne, Processor Technology, Vector Graphic, etc., some of which are still with us and some are long gone.


The Original IMSAI 8080

The Current IMSAI Series 2 & Official Website


Popular Electronics Magazine Archive

The Computer Magazine Archive


The Luciano Family Website Home


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