Computer Systems

A600 Series

1000, L/A Series Selection:

Name: 1000 A600/600+
Product Number: 2156A
Introduced: 1982
Division: Data Systems
Ad: Click to see, Click to see, Click to see
Original Price: $7500
Catalog Reference: 1983, page 597
Donated by: Transformers Manufacturing Corporation


The A600 was introduced based on the new "Lightning" processor. This processor could perform 1 million instructions per second and included DMS. This processor was designed by Tom Szolyga. The name "Lightning" came from the Mark Twain quote "Thunder is good, thunder is great, but it is lightning that does all the work." In this context, "Thunder" was a reference to the DEC PDP 11/23. The A600 and A700 computers were introduced at about the same time, even though the A600 project started twelve months later (and was completed in only nine months).

The A-Series computers shared some basic form factors. All of these computers came in a standard 19-inch rack mount box that could accommodate 20 expansion cards. In 1983, HP introduced its “Micro” form factor. The MICRO/1000 was a 14-slot box that could be mounted vertically as a rolling pedestal or mounted horizontally in a standard 19-inch rack. All A-Series were available in the MICRO/1000 format. In 1987, HP introduced its Micro 14/16 form factor for the A400 and A600+. This 6-slot “Cooler” box could operate in warmer environments (up to 60 degrees C) and shared the same classic industrial design as the 300 Series computers. The A700 and A900 were not made available in the "Cooler" form factor.

The A600 board computer was the 2106AK ($3,400). The 20-slot box computer was the 2156A. The MICRO/1000 version of the A600 was the Micro 26 priced at $10,000 (2486A). The bundled version of the A600 was the Model 16 at $13,800 (2196A/B). The desktop version of the A600 was the Model 6 (2186A/B). The model 6 was priced at $12,000 and included a built-in 2621 terminal and dual 5.25-inch floppy disc drives.

HP sold 1000 units of A600/A700 computers in the first five months after introduction.

The A600+ replaced the A600 in 1983. The board version of this computer was the 2106BK ($3,410). The 20-slot box version was the 2156B ($7,590). The Micro version (26) was the 2486A ($10,000). The cabinet version (Model 26) was the 2196C/D ($15,560). The "Cooler" cabinet version of the A600+ was introduced in 1987 with a part number of 2426G/H.

The Washington State-based company Strobe makes new classic HP-1000 (21-MX and A-Series) hardware as well as DEC-compatible hardware.

A bootable disc image of the latest software for these computers can be found here.

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