From what I can see, it probably never got beyond a very basic system
running only on the 68000. Jerry Pournelle's last comment on it in
April 1985 BYTE (p.361) covers his experience with it before the
November 1984 COMDEX show:
Frankly, [S1] sounded like a scam, and my views weren't changed when
I found an MSI booth at a show last year and was told they didn't
have a demonstration because their computer was lost on a truck or
something. They've since told me they don't really like to ship
computers around to shows because the machines often don't do well
after transportation; but that wasn't what I heard at the time.
Also, MSI's literature seemed outrageous.... They offer a huge
range of products, languages and compilers that I'm certain do not
exist. Then I met one of the company's representatives. he's one of
those chaps who gets too close to you and talks 50 miles a second.
He promises anything and you don't even get Arpege. After five
minutes with him, I was sure it was all a scam. Just to be safe, I
sent a message through the net asking if anyone had ever seen S1 in
operation. None had, but some had met the sales chap who so
negatively impressed me; and everyone who had met him, including
senior CompuPro officials, came to the same conclusion. S1 was
vaporware and likely to remain so.
He then goes on to say he finally saw a demo at the November 1984
COMDEX. It was:
...running on an IBM Instruments CS9000 (the processor is a
68000).... There was also a Stride 440 (formerly Sage IV, also a
68000 machine), and I'm told they have a CompuPro 68000 back in New
It's telling here that, a year after the advertisement you showed
claiming it's "presently running on 68000, Z80, 8080 and 8085" and
will be running within months on 8086, they demonstrate only on 68000,
by far the simplest platform of any they list (excepting the 16032,
it's the only one with a non-segmented address space larger than 64
KiB). In fact, the other platforms that a year earlier were claimed to
be running now seem to have vanished:
It's said to be highly portable, and thus soon to able to run on the
80286 and 32016 chips as well as the 68000.
The eight languages also supposed to be available between Sept. '83
and July '84 are also vapourware as of Nov. '84:
The MSI ad sheet gives prices for FORTRAN, C, Pascal, BASIC, etc.,
etc., but they didn't have them at COMDEX; MSI claims Pascal
FORTRAN, and C by the spring of 1985, but the only language they
have so far is MSI's own SL, a kind of stripped-down Pascal.
There's little information on the "demonstration" at the show:
I got a demonstration. Of course, you can't see much at a show;
there are constant interruptions. Thus, I still don't know a lot
A brief demo of a system with one (very limited) language compiler and
apparently no other software worthy of note, to someone with extensive
experience of only primitive single-tasking "operating systems" such
as CP/M-68K, provides little evidence that there's actually even an
operating system there. The demo could be essentially a command-line
shell and a few simple programs, rather than a real multi-tasking,
multi-user OS, and nobody who didn't know what to look for would be
The following issue of BYTE, May 1985, was a special issue on
multiprocessing, with with a cover and article on the AT&T UNIX PC.
There's no mention of S1 anywhere in it that I can find.
I scanned Pournelle's column (and, where present, letters in response
to the column) in every subsequent issue of BYTE for the next 18
months, though October 1986. Though Pournelle seemed to be keeping an
eye on 68000 systems and operating systems (in Oct. 1986 he saw and
mentioned the xePIX Gator S/20, a 68000-based Unix system, and OS-9
for the Atari ST), there was never again a mention of S1.
So all the evidence seems to point to a extremely over-enthusiastic
marketing of vapourware here, with nothing more than limited demo code