Saturday, November 30, 2019

SEECHECK from REDIFON developed with Entrex


The connection comes from this page:

Older web version

Seecheck (1972)
The technology for the Seecheck system was developed with the Entrex company in the US, Redifon having the rights to sell it in the UK, and also developed a market in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It was based around the Nova 16-bit mini computer produced by Data General, and set the basic architecture of all the systems developed down to the 2885 in 1990.

Seecheck Basic Control Groups (BCG) used a ‘Lowboy’ rack containing a 17 slot ‘DCC’ mini, tape drive, disk drives and necessary power supplies. The DCC mini computer had a 1200ns processor and 64KB of core store, and was also the only Nova based system supplied with programmers switches built in to the front panel, all subsequent systems having a detachable one for engineers’ use only.

One or two 2.5MB or 5MB DRI disc drives were supported, these utilising a single platter removable cartridge (although used as a fixed unit in Redifon systems) with a rack and pinion head actuator mechanism and optical sensor similar in principle to that subsequently used in floppy drives. The tape drive could be either a 7-track 556 bits per inch or a 9-track 800bpi.

Up to 32 Mk II terminals could theoretically be connected, each having its own I/F board in an auxiliary card cage, but eight was the normal limit. The terminals were normally the MK II type with the keyboard built in to the display unit, although the MK I was similar but with the base of the terminal integrated into the desk top. Both versions had a 480 character display. From the MK II onwards all Redifon terminals had a Cyrillic variant.

The Redicheck system was a cut-down version with only 48KB of core and a maximum of eight terminals.

The software was a pure key-to-disc application, although VDU orientated, and very flexible compared to the card or paper tape punching systems it was replacing. This software became known as ‘7’ series.

In 1974 Redifon signed a licensing agreement with Metronex/Meramat in Poland whereby Seecheck would be manufactured in Poland using Soviet-bloc hardware for sale in Soviet-bloc countries. Although peripherals were available in the Soviet-bloc there was not a suitable CPU so Redifon designed and developed a DG Nova compatible mini, called the P.1, for manufacture in Poland. This CPU complied with the then CoCom strategic embargo. Later Redifon would up-grade this design for the E.17 mini made in the UK.

So that would be a clone of a clone of a clone perhaps

And then somehow we get to this image, which shows the newer Entrex keystation "trapezoid" terminal?

More on Redifon:








Metronex is the Polish foreign trade organization which trades in computers, automation equipment, and instruments; its turnover in 1973 was estimated at about $300 million. Computers and peripherals have been exported to all COMECON countries regularly for many years... 
...and Redifon of the U.K. licensed MERA to manufacture the Seecheck key-to-disc systems which are· based on an original Entrex design from the U.S. 

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