|Sphere was the first company to advertise a Motorola 6800 based
computer. A small ad appeared in the June 1975 issue of Radio
Electronics. Another small ad was in the September issue and the full
page ads were in the
Wayne Green visited Sphere in August of 1975 and wrote about it
in Byte and
73 Magazine. Sphere
delivered the first systems at the end of October 1975. They had
difficulties delivering complete and working systems. SWTPC had
more resources and a computer that worked when assembled. Sphere
sold about 1300 systems before closing.
Here is the story of the first Sphere customer.
I saw the original ad for the Sphere in radio electronics. After
borrowing some funds from my sisters and brothers I ordered the kit. It
did not come for many long months later. I found out later I was the
very first order the company received.
When the kit came I assembled it and powered it up. No joy it was DOA. I
had a friend who was a EE and worked at the radar station in Antigua
where I currently was. We spent some time with an oscilloscope and
probes and eventually found 2 dead chips. These got replaced and joy oh
joy it booted up!
I went on to design and build a b&w graphics card for the system. I then
wrote a Tank War game and designed 2 sets of controllers for it. It was
an arcade style game for 2 people to driver their tanks around and shoot
at each other. Each controller had to levers that moved forward and back
and a fire button on the top of one of the levers. I submitted this with
a home movie of the game in action to Sphere and won their first (and
only) annual "What do I use my Sphere computer for" contest.
I had my sphere for many years and finally sold it working to a
collector in Longwood Florida. I don't remember his name and have no
idea what ever happened to it. Mine was some what unique as I mounted
the chassis and cards to the top of the CRT unit so I can easily get
into it and change things.
M. Scott Adams (Not Dilbert, Adventure!)