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Interesting email's I've gotten from Non-employees: I currently have these listed on E-Bay and thought you folks might want the pictures for your website. Nobody can argue that Percom disk drives were the best around. Thanks!! -Steve Weidman Houston, TX Dear Margo and Roger Arrick, Thank you for maintaining the web site with information about Percom Data. We know of the company through the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer. One of Percom products for the TI included a disk controller. Do you have any information how this was achieved? Did Percom design the card, and write the software Device Service Routine for the card -- or did they have a deal with Texas Instrumets to use TI's design and code? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Mike Wright Bill Gaskill Our company was named PerCom, because we find the name of your company in a Byte ad, and we copy it. Thanks. Omar Levatti Gerente de Operaciones PerCom S.A. 9 de Julio 2018 (3000) - Santa Fe - Argentina I found your website while searching for information on the Percom CIS-30+ magnetic tape cassette interface. It was use with the very early SWTPC computer kit. I am a hobbyist who an SWTPC and just obtained an old CIS-30+ made by Percom. It would be nice to put the manual and application notes on a website, but I don't know who to ask for permission. Besides, there are people who remember Percom and Mr. Mauch and would probably appreciate more information. My efforts are mostly to check out the interface and use it with one of the original SWTPC computers which my friend in Seattle happens to have. Thanks for the site, and I hope to hear from you. - Frank Wilson I'm not sure if you got my last message. Some time ago I contacted you about the CIS-30 interface and you expressed interest in obtaining one. I am through with the one I have, including the construction manual and application notes and a test cassette. Do you still want the unit? I can include the cassette data and device pictures on a CD as well. - Frank Wilson
I guess I am not remembered because I was not there very long.
I found the site today and really enjoyed reading about everyone.
I was one of the SWT6800 owners and met Harold at the 6800 user’s group meeting.
One day I ran into him at a convenience store and he made me a job offer.
I worked with Byron and Jim on the 6809 SBC.
I may still have a copy of the 6800 Micro Journal about Percom.
If I find it I can send it to you or scan it...
I have Harold to thank for making me think I was smart enough to go after things that were out of my reach.
What was the consultant that helped on projects? Was it Richard something?
I remember a Saturday meeting with “SUITS” from .... wanting us to help them with the tape interface for their 99.
It started off with “this meeting never happened”
I hope you have done well.
From Darron Shaffer
I remember seeing my first actual IBM PC. Everyone in engineering gathered around to watch Larry Taugher take it out of the box. And drop it on the concrete floor. :-)
Byron still carries scars from the Picnic at Jane’s house when he tried to ride the motorcycle through a barbed wire fence.
Wayne kept hiding Harold’s printer so he wouldn’t have to repair it after it was hit by lightening. Harold would find it and remind Wayne to fix it again, then Wayne would have to find a new place to hide it.
When Jane placed her first order as new purchasing agent she was asked for a PO#, Jane replied: 'No, we dont use a PO, we have a street address'.
John Adel arranged an interview for John Hampton when Percom finally closed up. He ended up working there for 9 years after leaving Percom. In John’s words 'Adel had a heart of gold'.
Barbara Robertson worked in almost every department in Percom.
Randy Rogers was a vendor who said he would help when Percom made the move from Barns to Kirby but nobody believed him. When it was time to move, he showed up and worked all day. That's called 'earning business!'
Wayne capsized Harold’s sail boat, repeatedly.
We need to hear more about Dixie, Don, and Randy’s adventures at conventions.
When Roger Arrick went for an interview with Harold late one night. He found the building and sat in a dark parking lot for a while feeling a little unconfortable at the unfamiliar surroundings. Then this old pickup truck pulls up next to him with a giant weapon of some sort on the top. That was Harold carrying around his hang-glider. Very scary. My first day at work I was introduced to a huge batch of broken doublers and told 'go for it'. Uh, anyone got a schematic?
Wayne still has the doubler prototype board in his attic.
Barbara Robertson still has a Percom Atari drive in it’s original box and packaging.
Wayne took a technical support call from a guy who had REMOVED the little record from it’s jacket put it in the drive and now the drive doesn’t work.
This is a copy of a letter I wrote in 2001 to an interested party. It has some interesting information about Percom's history for anyone interested.
> Percom was an upstart computer peripherals company, with a brilliant mind behind it. In the right place at the right time. On the cutting edge of the computer hobbiest market of the 1970's. Before the internet, before there was a computer in almost every home and every classroom in America, there were the hobbiest. Garage engineers > Making computer systems from components gathered from here and there. My Dad was one of those engineers, > His name was Harold Mauch and he founded a company known as Percom Data Corporation. > > Percom started in the backroom of our 3 bedroom house in Texas. Dad got tired of working for others and the partnership he had started with 3 buddies wasn't working out. So one day, literally, he decided to break free and market his own ideas himself. His idea was a cassette interface for the hobbiest computer. This was in about 1976. He took out a small ad in Byte magazine and went to work. I remember helping him build PC boards for 50 cents each when I was 12 years old. After awhile the third bedroom wasn't enough space for him so he got a semi large portable building and put it in our backyard. It wasn't long before he had to hire someone to help him and things were going well. In the summer of 1977 My Mother quit her job with Xerox and went to work with my Dad. They were the ideal partnership. He was the brains behind the products, and she was an organizational genius. It wasn't long before they had 3 employees and then a few more. They were growing out of the first building they had rented and needed a new place. They found the perfect shop/office just down the street and moved in. Soon they had 50 employees, engineers, assemblers, office workers etc. Everything a real company has. I remember him telling a story once about how he had walked into the production area one day and it was just humming with activity, this was his dream and he had succeeded. > > The people who worked for Percom in the 1970's were special. They were a family and parties and picnic's were the norm. When I turned 13 they all through me a surprise party. I would hang around in the summers, do some work but mostly bother the employees. Sometimes I would stuff PC boards and clip wires, whatever there was for a 13 year old to do. I really enjoyed the people and the atmosphere. I think everyone who worked there at the time really enjoyed their jobs. > > Soon there were 100 or more people there and they were quickly busting out at the seems. New products were being developed and sales were going up. The double density adapter for floppy drives were booming, we no longer sold the old cassette interface product and we were onto bigger and better things- Floppy disk drives. > > I can't tell you the ins and outs of the technical side of the business, for I was just an observer throughout this whole process, but I can tell you business was good. It was at about this time that they made the decision to get a much larger office space. They got a huge space and moved in 1981. > Work began on a new product, the Hard Drive. This was something new but necessary for Percom to stay competitive. The only problem, no one could get it to work right. So we kept selling Peripherals, Disk drives, Doublers, etc. Everyone was working hard to make Percom Bigger and better. All the employees and management were working hard to make this thing work. But something was about to happen > No one could have predicted. > > In August of 1982 Dad found out he had Leukemia, by the end of the month he was dead. As time progressed it became clear that with my Dad's loss Percom had lost it's heart and soul. > > Mom quit within a year after Dad's death and so did I. By that time I had graduated and had gone to work for Percom full-time in the accounting department. By the mid 80's Percom was gone, but not it's products. I've recently become aware of old Percom products (some in like-new condition) being sold at auction on E-bay. It's always nice to see those products still being used, and I usually try and contact some of the people buying them. > >I Would love to find an OLD CIS30 board or old Byte magazines from 76 or 77. Specifically one issue with a purple(or other pastel, maybe blue) cover, with a large cassette on the cover. This was the first magazine percom ran an ad in. > Well for those of you using this old stuff, Good luck on your projects, You are all made of the same stuff my Dad was made of with those Fertile minds and love of gadgets. > > Margo
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