I'm looking for info on Albert Computers, the company that produced the Albert (an Apple II "clone" with some fairly advanced bells and whistles). I'd especially like to talk to anyone who worked there and/or has firsthand info about their design and production processes. I've found what appears to be a prototype mainboard for the Albert, as well as a number of other items, such as a draft of the user's manual, product shots, pictures of mockups of the retail packaging (Polaroids!), etc., and I'd like to get more background info as I review and catalog these materials. If anybody knows someone who worked there or has any leads, please let me know. I've already scoured the Internet but can only find one person and haven't had any luck getting in touch with him. Thanks!
I've attached some photos. The first pair show an Albert motherboard and what I assume is a prototype. The last two are pictures of some of the Polaroids showing the full Albert system and a mockup of the packaging.
I had an Albert for a period of time. It was a very unique clone. My father bought it at J&R music world in NYC. I remember the story because he had to take it home on the Long Island Railroad. Back in those days the line wasn't electrified all the way out east, so I remember his story about having to lug it around while he changed trains.
It wasn't cheap, it was close to the price of an Apple if I recall his comments, but had a lot of built in things. He bought it for a project since we already had a real apple. He liked the Albert because the keyboard was detached and it had built in A/D converters. My dad also like the battery backup. It was also built like a tank in a metal case, not as much of a tank as a Basis clone, but better than the Apple II series at the time.
The system does not contain basic in ROM. You had to boot with an Apple system disk and it will load Applesoft basic into the built in "language" card.
I don't recall how compatible it was as I was as it wasn't used as a game machine in my house, my sister and I had other computers, this was my dads.
Speaking of which if anyone does come across a complete Albert system, I might be interested for sentimental reasons...
Over the last two years there have been at least two Albert Computers show up for auction on eBay.
From what I have seen they are very interesting machines.
If another one shows up I will be sure to list the URL up here.
My Father was Vice President of Sales at Albert Computers and I worked as a teenager for the company...what a blast from the past. most of the people involved are no longer with us but I do remember the head of the tech developments name was Dave Mazolotti ( not sure if that's spelled right).
the project was scrapped due to problems with the power supply overheating and Dave was also very disgruntled with the execs.Last place I saw him was in Newark Delaware when he was inventing a portable battery charger for aircraft about 20 years ago. thanks for posting the pics, I used to draw with the koala pad and had totally forgotten it even existed. if you have any more questions Ill try my best to answer them (keep in mind I was 16 and making RGB cables and flashing E-Proms for them.)
Thanks for posting. I have a question or two. Did the company put the keyboards together or were they purchased completed? If you guys put them together, how did you get the keyboard internals into the metal case? It looks like the case was built around the keyboard internals and I cannot get it out to troubleshoot.
I am guessing this daughterboard adds the Apple II ROMs? I don't see this daughtercard documented in docs that I have.
All images are here, if you haven't seen them: http://vintagecomputer.ca/albert-computer/
Thank you again for posting.
If memory serves there was no outsourcing of parts, everything was crafted in house, so the keyboard was a proprietary one made by Albert, as to the daughter board I wasn't involved in that level of development, sorry. The whole PC never ran right and is probably suitable for a boat anchor only lol...At the time of production I had an Apple 2, your better off trying to get one of those running again rather than the Albert. once Dave left they tanked, even before the time bomb he left in the system went off....he wrote something that would make the drives think they had no heads,set to go off at a certain date.