Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vintage Computer Intel MCB8-10 Microcomputer 1972

The Intel MCB8-10 is one of the first microcomputers using the 8008 microprocessor. I am sure there are earlier ones but this seems to be about the first one from Intel. I acquired this microcomputer in 1981 from my friend Robert (Bob) Stone. Bob was on the lookout for memorabilia to add to our historical microcomputer collection. I had known Bob for at least 10 years while he worked at Virginia Tech. He was also pursuing a degree while working.  In 1981 when he purchased this computer he had received his PhD and moved to the Sunnyvale area of California. There were many great shops in the Bay area for computer and electronic hobbyist in those days. The shops were packed with the early microcomputer surplus things from the local Silicon Valley   start up companies.  Remember the microcomputer revolution was only 10 years old starting in 1971 more or less with the first commercial microprocessor chip 4004.  The Apple 1 microcomputer only arrived on the computer genera in 1976.  The Bay area electronic junk shops were full of items any collector today would have absolute euphoria over and think they had died and gone to collector heaven.

Bob was able to purchase this MCB8-10 for me at the Halted Specialties Co., Inc in Sunnyvale CA. for $125.00.  That was a tidy price for those days but this was a rare computer even at that time.  The name Halted Specialties makes me think "Stuff no longer made or sold". 

The microcomputer MCB8-10 First Intel 8 Bit Development  System. This uses the 8008 microprocessor and was used to develop hardware, software and program 1702 EPROM'S for final product design . I do not find much information about this system on the internet. A few other collectors do have them in there collections. I  have several manuals for the system so it is a well documented system. I was able to add the MCS8-10 to my collection in 1981 and it is in very good condition. This is not the first Intel development system however it may be the first 8 bit development system.


 Part of control panel with switch register                                 CPU card with memory

This is Nate Cleveland , he works after school with the microcomputer collection doing data entry and web updates.  Nate ( High School student and part time staff ) is holding the 8008 system manual for the computer.  Our LCF Group employs 2 addition part time student office assistants - they are now in college however they started while in High School. These student assistants are a tremendous help with our museum collection and display. The photo at the top of my blog was designed by Student Intern Amber Ingram using the panel from the MCB8-10.
This video was made 3 years ago and I do think
my editing has improved.  The Intel MCB8-10
 Send a Tweet'CLICK' hashtag #KK4WW if you enjoy the blog or have a comment

Dr. Robert T. Stone (acquired  Intel Development System in this blog for our collection)  worked with us in the old days of the "Blackburg Group" about 1980. He coauthored this book "Design of VMOS Circuits" with Howard Berlin.  Robert and Howard were authors in our "Blacksburg Continuing Education Series" and wrote several excellent books. 

Appreciate a like on Museum Facebook Page.

 This is one more hat I ware in addition to 'Computer Collector/Historian' .  Bernie Coveney on the left with CD master & me David Larsen with our contract- We commissioned Bernie to write, compose and record a theme song for our "Chantilly Festival Farm" . Bernie produced  great Bluegrass theme music and we will be using it on all our  Chantilly Farm promotional media. I  will also use it as branding for my video's in the future. I already started with my last video "Vintage SCELBI Computer". I will use it here on the blog when I can learn how to add music. "by David Larsen" - Computer Collector/Historian


  1. Wow, what a blast from the past. Thanks, Dave for the credit. It was my joy.

  2. Hi Bob - What a joy to hear from you. Thanks to you I have this great historical microcomputer. I am beginning to realize that many of the folks who we worked with or were acquainted have passed on or as hamradio folks would say "they are now Silent Keys". Starting to make me feel old however I don't feel old at this time. I will only be 75 next November. Just last week Adam Osborne passed on (March 25th).

    How did you fine this blog entry? As for me I am still going full speed ahead while I can. One of the projects is to do something with all the historical computer stuff as the kids would have no idea what to do with it . Bob -- it is really a big collection and includes Apple 1 computers and other rare items.

    Any ideas how to loan - donate - set up museum - sell the collection ? I am loaning out a few items. Just sent nice MARK8 (the John Titus computer) computer to the "Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyist" Group. You can see that in one of my past blogs. Great to see your comment - Dave the Computer Collector/Historian

  3. Sol Libes
    Re:Old Computers
    Hi David,

    Thanks for the email. It was great hearing from you. I went to your website and enjoyed reading and viewing all the stuff you put up there. You did a terrific job.

    Incidentally, when I read the Radio-Electronics Mark-8 article it excited me and I bought a set of boards and 8008 microprocessors. I worked with my students to assemble a working system and we learned a lot about microcomputer systems, programming, and computer interfacing from it. Regretfully, when we moved on to building an Altair we scraped the Mark-8. All I have now is a picture I took of the unit.

    Your website brings back memories.



  4. Here is wonderful interview with Computing Pioneer "Alan Kay" by David Greelish.

  5. Hello,

    I enjoyed your website article on the Intel System Interface & Control Module MCB 8-10.

    I too own one that was purchased at Halted back in the late 70's or early 80's.

    I had spent quite a bit of time at Halted starting when the store on Evelyn and knew Hal and some of the other guys.

    Yours is the third MCB 8-10 that I know of in existence.

    It goes well with my Intel SDK-80 and SDK-85 which I built back in 1980.

    In 1976 my father and I designed and built our first homebrew 8080A based system using the 8080A University Kit from Intel which contained cosmetic rejects of all the main IC's.

    Eventually I ended up building up some S-100 based kits so I had boards that would work (some what) with systems and software my friends were using.

    My favorite was my Byt-8 / Olson (Byte) 8080A which had various front panels that could be used followed by SSM and CCS systems.

    I still own some Northstar systems along with some CompuPro ones and various other boards.

    BTW, I noticed that you had a section on Apple but have not had time to read it.

    I was one of the earlier Apple employees and started with them back in June 1979.

    I still have a few of my earlier Apple II and II+ systems.

    I left the company at the start of the Macintosh and went to work for Big Blue where I started in IBM Research where I met some of the pioneers in the computer industry - Mort Astrahan, John Backus, Edgar Codd (his son had even worked for me) and others then I was selected to be part of the team that developed the first multimedia based authoring system - The Audio Visual Computer which started out as an IBM Fellow project headed up
    by G. Glenn Henry.

    After that I worked on their early digital video system - DVI -
    Actionmedia II which I then EOL'ed in favor of MPEG then left IBM to develop MPEG technology and products for various well known companies in the industry.


    1. Hi Kelvin - Thank you for the comments. It looks like you have had a very interesting career in computers and software.
      Very few were able to say they built homebrew computers in the 70's with their dad. Dave


I look forward to your comments and will respond.