While trying to find an answer to something that has bothered me for a while, I came across some information I thought I’d share. Now I know many users of the Coleco ADAM are also avid vintage computer enthusiasts, so this information will not be new to many of you. For the rest, brace yourself, but the Coleco ADAM is not the first ADAM computer. I know! I know.. I was in disbelief too. The thought of having a few drinks to settle my nerves did cross my mind, but at 9:43 AM while on break at work, well, it seemed like a bad idea.
Apparently, a company called Logical Machine Corporation, better known as LOMAC, released their ADAM computer in 1975. Sounds like this was a big computer or what was categorized as a “mini-computer” as opposed to a mainframe – something that takes up a room. You basically got an ‘L’ shaped desk with a keyboard, monitor, hard-drive in the corner, and printer.
What made this ADAM special was its ability for inexperienced computer users to program the ADAM. From what I read, the user basically uses ordinary sentences to get work done on this system. More or less like basic English. No need to pick up a programming language book. At least that’s what I gathered from an issue of InfoWorld magazine from 1980.
When you look at photos of these various ADAM computers, you’ll see that even the font on the logo on some of these looks reminiscent of the Coleco ADAM logo. Hence the reason I type ADAM in all caps. So it should come as no surprise that in 1983, The New York Times reported the following on June 17th:
“A maker of computer systems that can be programmed in nontechnical English has filed a trademark infringement suit seeking to bar Coleco Industries from calling its new home computer system ”Adam.”
Logical Business Machines said it had been using the trademark ”Adam” since 1975 for its natural language computer that lets computer users program in the language they speak, rather than a specialized computer language.
The Sunnyvale company asked the United States District Court in San Jose to stop Coleco, based in Hartford, from using the name Adam for personal computers and related products. In response, Coleco threatened a countersuit, contending that Adam is a registered trademark that it has owned for seven years.”
So, that’s the original ADAM computer, unless you know of one before this system..