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A few years back I was out looking around at a friend's property and amongst a plethora of old computer systems I found this. it looked to be in very good condition and after plugging it in the screen prompted me to enter a system disk, so it appeared to be in working order, so I brought it home. I thought I'd search it up on eBay so get a quick estimate of how much it's worth, but to my surprise there was no results, so I promptly looked it up on google next. Amongst Delta Airlines' gold card memberships I found but one useful result, this single entry on thepcmuseum.net for the DeltaGold Elite II which appears to be missing a lot of data.
I thought this to be very strange, as this computer clearly exists, it even shows an Elite model in the photo, and I have one sitting right next to me, so whats the deal? It was at this moment that I made it my goal to find out exactly what is this computer and what happened to this company.
After looking a little deeper I found a few more leads, such as an article from 1987 on the 3 main models available and this article from 1989 that explains how they will shift manufacturing over the the BF Goodrich complex in akron, which according to this and this, doesn't appear to have ever happened. This post on deskthority shows that some people actually do own the same keyboard as me, and I've even seen two for sale over the years four around $400 each. Some forum posts also show that at least three other people out there owned a deltagold at one point, but I've never seen a post about a system besides the Elite. Looking deeper I eventually found two videos from someone that currently owns an Elite, though they didn't know too much about it's history or the company. An Elite can even be seen in this music video for queen's invisible man.
It was around this point in time that I discovered the library that is google books, and found a lot of computer magazines from the time period containing advertisments for Deltagold, most of which can be seen below. These articles contaned the only two photos so far of the prestive and the premier, and eludes to a few more models that may exist. Below is a list of what we know so far about what they made:
- Deltagold Elite - 1987, $1195, switchable 4.77/10MHz 8088 licensed clone, 512k ram expandable to 768k, 4 expansion slots, two 5.25" 360k diskette drives, 12" monochrome monitor, external clock
- Deltagold Prestige - 1987, $1995, switchable 6/10MHz 8088, 512k ram expandable to 1Mb, 3 or 6 expansion slots (conflicting evidence, most likely 6), one 5.25" 1.2Mb diskette drive, 12" monochrome monitor, external clock, front lock
- Deltagold Premier - 1987, $4995, switchable 8/16MHz 80386, 1mb ram, 8 expansion slots, 40Mb hard disk, EGA monitor with adapter, may have clock, front lock. Elite & Prestige come with integrated software package (spreadsheet, word processor, database), All three models come with MS-DOS 3.2 and GW Basic.
- Sprint Portable 88 - 1988, Laptop, 7.7 pounds, two 3.5" diskette drives, 640k ram, serial, parallel, and game ports, external video output.
- Voyager 88 - 1988, 4.77/10MHz 8088, 640k ram, two 3.5" diskette drives, LCD screen, available with 20Mb hard disk.
- Voyager 286 - 1988, 10MHz 80286, 640k ram, two 3.5" diskette drives, LCD screen, available with 20Mb hard disk. Unable to find any images of the portable computers
- Deltagold Elite II - 1988
- Deltagold Prestige II - 1988
- DG-630 - 1988
- Samsung Model A - 1987, $1995, 80286, 8 expansion slots, 12" monochrome monitor, graphics adapter, intergrated software package, both samsung computers sold under Delta Computer Corp. in the U.S.
- Samsung model TX - 1987, $1095, 8088-2, 6 expansion slots, 640k ram, two 5.25" disk drives, 12" monochrome monitor, graphics adapter, intergrated software package; second version available with colour monitor for $1395, third version with a 20Mb hard disk for $1595
A few other notable things are:
- "Support package" - Instructional VHS, Deltagold GoldDesk (Emulates a graphical mac-style interface with mouse functions), 18 momth warranty, package may have come with the first line of the Deltagolds
- GEM/3 Desktop - 1989, from Digital Research Inc, graphical interface rebranded as DG/Desk, bundled with Deltagold line.
- DR DOS - 1989, from DRI, rebranded as DG/DOS, intended to be included in ROM in their next generation of PCs, bundled with Deltagold line.
- 18 month warranty on Deltagold Computers, toll-free line: 1-800-255-DELTA
- P.O. Box 809, 260 Forbes Blvd, Mansfield, MA 02048; (617)339-5575. Verified from three sources.
- 300 N. Continental Blvd, suite 200, El Segundo, CA 90245; (213)322-4222
After some time I actually found some of the Deltagold Connection software disks at a local antique shop, and bought them for a few cents. An amazing find because it's the only time ive ever seen them besides in this blurry photo, and great for preservation because I could very well be the only person with access to this software. But all this information so far is from the time period between 1987 and 1989, and the Deltagold trademark looks like it was abandoned in 1990, so what happened? The Company seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and vanish again in just a few years. Did they go bankrupt? Were the portable computers ever even made? What is Deltagold? There is still a lot to find out
Looking deeper there's a few more leads we can take. The molding of the keyboard and the shape of the system of the elite look strikingly similar to the Franklin PC-8000, an ever so slightly more well-known pc, though this appears to just be another similar IBM clone, but there's a few more systems that appear to be coincidentally similar too, made by Acer Multitech. Below is some images of these systems, monitor, and the multiple keyboards that match up with the molding of Deltagolds'. Not only this but after looking up the ffc id of the keyboard, I discovered that it went through a rebranding in 1987 by none other than Acer themselves. So theres a good chance that the Deltagold machines were OEM'd by Acer, as the monitor fcc id leads to a still-in-business manufacturer of computer monitors. That's about as far as that lead goes though, as I am unable to find any other information linking the two or even what to do with the information I do have.
September 13th 2020
is when this video was uploaded to youtube, and contains in full a recording of the instructional VHS tape included with the first round of systems. This is the only place on the internet to my knowledge that this video can be found, and shows much more of the Prestige and Premier than any of what we have seen before. This is one more peice of lost Deltagold media preserved, but there's still a lot more information to be found. Below I will upload images of my own Deltagold Elite system.
Oh and I also found this ad
I will eventually take and upload more photos of my system, don't worry
The entire point of this article was to be the single most condensed history of Deltagold anywhere.