[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Vector Graphic Vector 1

July 27th, 2015 by Benj Edwards

Vector Graphic Inc. Vector 1 computer system advertisement - 1977NOW AVAILABLE IN RUST

The Vector 1 (1977) was the first complete computer system sold by Vector Graphic, Inc., a California-based firm founded by Lore Harp (now McGovern), Carole Ely, and Bob Harp in August 1976.

The Vector 1 included an Intel 8080A or Zilog Z80 CPU, and it utilized the S-100 bus introduced by the Altair 8800. In an unusual nod to aesthetics, the Vector 1 shipped in two case color options: green or “rust,” which was Vector’s name for orange. It retailed for for $849 fully assembled (about $3,288 today when adjusted for inflation) or $619 as a kit.

It just so happens that I wrote an article about the history of Vector Graphic for FastCompany recently. You may enjoy it.

[ From Byte Magazine, February 1977, p.61]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever owned an S-100 based computer? Tell us about it.

7 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Vector Graphic Vector 1”

  1. TNLongFellow Says:

    Benj, awesome article as always. This is one of those “Holy Grail” type machines for me. It ranks right up there with the Altair and IMSAI 8080. I have to admit that I was not aware of most of the info you provided in your article so I really enjoyed reading that. Keep up the great work with your articles, it’s always great to get an education in the history of computing from someone who has the passion for that history that you do!

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    Wow — thanks for the kind words, TNLongFellow. I appreciate your feedback. I am working on another piece for FastCompany now that should interest you as well when it comes out.

    I also wrote a piece about Etak, the company behind the first computerized auto navigation system, that you might enjoy:


  3. Geoff V. Says:

    Just a fantastically well written story. The flow was solid from beginning to end.

    I know it doesn’t make as much in ad revenue as click-bait and slide shows, but long-form articles like this keep me coming back.

  4. Moondog Says:

    Interesting article. It makes me think of how many other companies from that period must’ve had similar origins, and either lost their momentum or failed to change their game plan at the right time.

    I also like the generic instrument case look of S-100 bus systems. It’s a definite contrast to the modular cases we are used to today. Their version of “modular” consisted of having enough space to cut or drill holes in the case or chassis to accommodate a floppy drive in a home made bracket.

  5. Alexander Says:

    Top notch article as usual, Benj!

  6. arlandi Says:

    Although i never use these kind of Kits, i always like reading their history. Thanks Benj!

  7. V Says:

    Great read, thank you!

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